Trial cashless parking scheme starts in Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Archant
A pay on exit cashless trial car parking scheme has begun in Bury St Edmunds.
The scheme, called Flexi-Park, is operating in St Andrews Street car park.
People will pay £1 an hour the first six hours, before a whole day charge of £10.
Anyone staying at the car park overnight will pay a £1 evening charge from 6pm.
West Suffolk Council says that if the pilot scheme is successful then it will look to roll Flexi-Park out in other car parks across the area.
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John Griffiths, the leader of West Suffolk Council, said the trial had been introduced following discussions with bodies such as OurBuryStEdmunds Business Improvement District (BID), which represents hundreds of businesses in the town centre.
"We have listened to their concerns that some businesses feel they are missing out on trade because visitors are hurrying back to their car before their ticket expires," he said.
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"This pilot scheme aims to overcome this and demonstrates our ongoing commitment not only to working with our town centre partners but also to supporting local businesses."
Peter Stevens, cabinet member for operations which is responsible for parking, said Flexi-Park was aimed at helping people unfamiliar with the town centre or who simply didn't know how long they wanted to stay.
"The scheme is cashless which means that people aren't restricted by how much change they have in their pocket," he added.
"That in turn also has a significant cost and operational benefit to the Council, freeing up staff time for greater enforcement, eventually to include Civil Parking Enforcement which again supports local residents and businesses."
Andrew Speed, chairman of OurBuryStEdmunds BID said: "We are delighted that OurBuryStEdmunds has been able to work with West Suffolk Council to introduce this flexible form of parking.
"We have been encouraging the Council to introduce Pay on Exit parking for several years and believe it will give shoppers and visitors a real choice, enabling them to stay longer to enjoy our town, and potentially to spend more with our businesses."
The trial will run thoughout the summer although no time limit has been set.