Towns to see 70% of car park charges cut or frozen
- Credit: Archant
Plans to scrap ‘inconsistent’ car parking charges in towns throughout east Suffolk will be rolled out from Monday - with 70% of prices to be reduced or frozen.
Visitors to selected car parks throughout the district will be entitled to 30 minutes of free parking as part of plans to attract shoppers and support businesses as they aim to recover from the coronavirus lockdown.
Car parking tariffs had varied throughout east Suffolk owing to a lack of consistent pricing since the merger of Suffolk Costal and Waveney councils in 2019.
For example, shoppers were previously charged £1.80 in Woodbridge to park their car for two hours - but the price was £1.40 in Halesworth for the same time period.
East Suffolk Council has now moved to reduce the majority of their parking charges and introduce a more streamlined range of tariffs, having previously introduced an app to help shoppers pay remotely.
The council said more than 70% of their prices will be slashed or frozen and will now offer just three or four ticket types, as well as offering a free 30 minutes in selected locations.
The new car parking scheme will be initially introduced in Bungay on Monday before a phased roll-out over the coming weeks.
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East Suffolk’s new scheme will also take effect in Aldeburgh, Beccles, Felixstowe, Framlingham, Kirkley, Leiston, Lowestoft, Melton, Outlton Broad, Saxmundham, Southwold and Wrentham in the near future.
Norman Brooks, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for transport, said the decision to lower the parking charges was made to support the economy - even though the authority’s income from their car parks will be cut.
He also described the new price points as “competitive” and pointed out how the majority of shoppers only wish to spend a maximum of £1.50 for a two-hour stay.
Mr Brooks added: “Our new tariffs have been led by the data we have received from historical parking information and we are determined to make the process as simple and reasonable as possible.
“We know that the range of different charges has been inconsistent, and we also know that the tariffs to date have not necessarily suited the vast majority of people who park in our towns.
“These changes are not about making money – in fact, we will not be making a penny of additional revenue from them, with more than 70% of tariff levels reduced or stay the same for a two-hour visit. “This is about continuing to invest in improving the parking experience in east Suffolk, making it easier for everyone.”