Higher parking charges, loss of free parking and permit schemes possible in east Suffolk

Felixstowe

Felixstowe - Credit: citizenside.com

People in east Suffolk are being asked for their views on the future of parking – amid fears that free car parks could be axed.

Suffolk Coastal will need to raise £240,000 a year to offset the cost of taking on the enforcement of yellow lines from the police in two years’ time as it does not expect to raise the money from parking tickets.

It could mean free car parks – such as the port viewing area at Landguard, Manor Terrace and Garrison Lane in Felixstowe, and Slaughden Road, Aldeburgh becoming pay-and-display – to generate more cash.

Changes are also being considered in Framlingham, including creating a 70-space extension to The Elms car park and introduction of a Residents Parking Zone for Castle Street, Church Street, Double Street and Fore Street with householders buying permits, the first such scheme in the district.

In Woodbridge, there is the opportunity to redevelop land at The Avenue for extra parking and improve capacity at the Station site, and further revenue could be gained at Darsham railway station, where there are plans to develop a new car park.

But the district council wants to ensure its parking policy matches local needs, for tourism and business, and also where residents have concerns, which could lead to residents-only parking permit schemes.

It has launched a consultation to find out people’s thoughts and is liaising with local parish and town councils, business organisations and other stakeholders.

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Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) plans will be introduced in April 2019 and provide councils with an opportunity for Local Parking Plans to be produced defining off-street and on-street parking control policies.

Carol Poulter, cabinet member for the green environment, with responsibility for car parks, said: “Parking is one of the biggest bugbears among many of our communities, but by introducing tailored CPE plans, we hope to tackle the problems affecting areas most.

“We’ve already heard from some town and parish councils with their initial ideas so now we’re asking the public to put forward their views on current problems and consider possible solutions for off-street and on-street parking throughout the district.”

She said councillors were particularly interested in:

? How car parking can better support the economy of town centres and businesses;

? How car parking can better support tourism;

? How CPE can address other local parking issues – and where there are particular problems related to poor parking.

Responses should reach the council by Friday, October 13, but all responses received by the end of October will be considered.

There will be a second round of consultation once initial ideas have been considered when the council will present its proposals for any changes.

To have your say, email: carparking2017@eastsuffolk.gov.uk or in writing to: Car Parking Consultation, c/o Operational Partnerships, Suffolk Coastal District Council, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Melton, IP12 1RT.

If you would like to have a discussion about what the council can and can’t do under CPE then please call Kerry Blair on 01502 523007.

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