Parking charges could aid bypass plan

PARKING charges in a market town could pave the way for a much-wanted bypass, traffic bosses said last night.Fears are growing in Sudbury that residents and shoppers might soon have to start paying for parking, but Suffolk County Council said the measure could raise hundreds of thousands of pounds and herald the start of the long-awaited relief road.

PARKING charges in a market town could pave the way for a much-wanted bypass, traffic bosses said last night.

Fears are growing in Sudbury that residents and shoppers might soon have to start paying for parking, but Suffolk County Council said the measure could raise hundreds of thousands of pounds and herald the start of the long-awaited relief road.

But claims that the money would be put forward a bypass scheme to relieve the town's traffic-choked roads were last night scoffed at by long-suffering residents.

Town councillor Sylvia Byham, who has been part of the bypass campaign for many years, said: “I am afraid this just goes along with all the broken promises and I will only believe it when the ink is dry on the paper.


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“I have become very cynical about the bypass and claiming it is linked with car parking charges will not go down well with the town's people.

“Sudbury is a hard place to get into and an impossible place to leave and I think installing charges will have an effect on attracting people to the town. The town council has always been unanimous against paying for parking and I hope this will remain so.”

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But the county council's Local Transport Plan suggested introducing parking charges in Sudbury would cut congestion in the town.

And Guy McGregor, the county council's portfolio holder for roads and transport, said: “If we are serious about getting funding for a Sudbury bypass we need to follow Government guidelines such as introducing parking charges. There is a huge volume of traffic coming over Ballingdon Bridge and a bypass would overcome that.”

One woman who lives in Cross Street, where residents have led the bypass campaign after experiencing years of traffic problems, said she backed parking charges.

She said: “I personally would not mind paying for car parking in the town if it meant we would get a bypass, but I remain very sceptical that the two issues would be linked.”

In 2005, Babergh District Council turned down controversial plans to introduce long stay charges in the town following massive public opposition.

Last night, a council spokesman said: “Babergh's current policy is that there will be no introduction of car parking charges in its off-street car parks in Sudbury.”

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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