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New parking charges to end “discriminatory” differences between East Suffolk towns

PUBLISHED: 05:30 19 August 2020

Jill Barrett, who has lead a campaign to scrap parking charges in Woodbridge, said the changes do not go far enough. Picture: MICHAEL GRIST

Jill Barrett, who has lead a campaign to scrap parking charges in Woodbridge, said the changes do not go far enough. Picture: MICHAEL GRIST

Archant

Parking charges in east Suffolk are to undergo a complete overhaul to get rid of the “discriminatory” differences in pricing between towns such as Woodbridge and Halesworth.

Cllr Caroline Page described the difference in parking charges as Cllr Caroline Page described the difference in parking charges as "discriminatory". Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The changes, which will be made in towns across the region, were due to be discussed by East Suffolk Council in April. However, Covid-19 meant that a decision had to be delayed.

Parking charges had previously been set by Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils which have now come together to form East Suffolk Council.

Woodbridge county councillor, Caroline Page, who previously raised the issue, described the different charges between her ward and those in Halesworth as “distinctly discriminatory”.

However, the council has now confirmed that the changes, which will include a free for 30 minutes scheme at selected car parks, will be introduced “shortly”.

A spokesperson for East Suffolk District Council said: “The car parks in Halesworth and Woodbridge were previously run by two different councils and on that basis there have been historic differences between prices.

“We were due to introduce new tariffs in April, designed to ensure similar charges across the merged district, while also making our charging formula clearer and simpler to understand.

“However this was postponed due to the temporary closure of car park charging as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

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“These new charges will now be introduced shortly and the tariffs in Halesworth and Woodbridge will be exactly the same.”

The price changes will see shoppers in Woodbridge and Halesworth pay £1 for two hours of parking, down from £1.80 in the former, and £1.40 in the latter.

The changes will also take effect in Aldeburgh, Beccles, Bungay, Felixstowe, Framlingham, Kirkley, Leiston, Lowestoft, Melton, Outlton Broad, Saxmundham, Southwold and Wrentham.

Jill Barrett, owner of Barretts of Woodbridge, said the changes “don’t go far enough” to help the town.

She said: “I’m grateful for anything but I’m disappointed they haven’t gone further to help us.

“We have been asking for ‘free after three’ or two hours of free parking.

“So I think because of the unprecedented times we are in, they could have gone further to help the shops in Woodbridge.

“I welcome anything that they can do to help us.”


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