Parking fees 'damaging' trade

CAR parking charges in a Suffolk town have been defended after traders alleged the tariffs were designed to make as much money as possible out of motorists.

CAR parking charges in a Suffolk town have been defended after traders alleged the tariffs were designed to make as much money as possible out of motorists.

Shopkeepers in Woodbridge have complained the town was at an unfair advantage compared with other towns in Suffolk - and that Suffolk Coastal District Council did not encourage shoppers.

But the council has hit back and said it offers free parking for 30 minutes and discounted season tickets. Andy Smith, deputy leader, said: ''Our mission statement is clear - the council seeks to provide off-street car parks in order to support the commercial, recreational, tourist, residential and environmental life of the district.

''Pricing policies will support the effective use of the car parks for these purposes, but as a minimum covering all costs attributable to operation and maintenance.


You may also want to watch:


''This aim does result in higher tariffs for long stays in short stay car parks for example, as there is a clear intention to dissuade people clogging up the car parks that are designed to be for shoppers.''

He warned that if the revenue from car parks was reduced then it would have to be made up from another source - and this would lead to higher council tax increases.

Most Read

Cllr Smith said the council had opened its Melton Hill staff car park on Saturdays for shoppers in a three-month pilot study and it would study usage of all nine car parks in the town for three months.

Alex Payne, who runs Cardfayre, Thoroughfare, Woodbridge, said the park and ride at Martlesham encouraged potential customers to bypass Woodbridge and go instead to Ipswich.

Mr Payne said car parking charges in Woodbridge were ''entirely uncompetitive'' in relation to other towns of a similar size and, for example, Felixstowe had a considerable amount of free parking in the town centre.

''Woodbridge is becoming almost entirely ringfenced by pay to park machines. I understand there is also talk of permit parking in Woodbridge which will further alienate out of town drivers who don't wish to pay excessive parking costs.

''We need to encourage the short term parkers who merely want to park, have enough time to make a couple of purchases which might take up to an hour and to return to their vehicles without having to stump up another 70p to collect their prescription or buy their bread.”

Meanwhile, a large free car park operated by Budgens has become a pay and display facility.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus