Parking fees 'like a chocolate bar'

A MAYOR has tried to put a controversial car parking rise into perspective by telling residents that they can park for 30 minutes – or spend the same amount of money on a bar of chocolate.

A MAYOR has tried to put a controversial car parking rise into perspective by telling residents that they can park for 30 minutes - or spend the same amount of money on a bar of chocolate.

In Felixstowe, there is a proposed 50% increase in parking a car in Crescent Road and Highfield Road, going up from 20p to 30p for half an hour.

The cost of car parking and any increases is often criticised by shopkeepers and residents. But Doreen Savage, Felixstowe mayor, said the cost needed to be balanced against other spending.

She told a town council meeting that ''nobody thinks twice'' about buying a chocolate bar which could be eaten within a few minutes whereas the same amount of money would buy them a 30-minute parking space.


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''I do think our charges are extremely reasonable and I think the increases are the minimum they can possibly do in view of the fact that machines can only take certain coins,'' said Cllr Savage.

She was supported by Chris Slemmings - they are both district councillors - and he said: ''We should accept that the proposed charges still leave us with very competitively priced car parking charges compared to the rest of the area.''

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The district council is putting up prices, the first time for three years, to bring in extra revenue to keep council tax rises to a minimum. But it has decided not to extend charging at seasonal car parks to 12 months a year. That proposal would particularly have affected Felixstowe.

In the meantime the county council is preparing to amend anomalies in parking regulations that have arisen on roads in Felixstowe. It has emerged that the waiting restrictions are inconsistent and police and traffic wardens are not issuing parking tickets in some roads.

They have found yellow lines without signs; signs without lines, and lines with signs but without the correct traffic orders.

Felixstowe police has written to the county council to ask them to update the regulations. Mick Richardson, in charge of the community police officer team, said: ''Until such time as the problems associated with the yellow lines and signs are rectified there are some areas of town which cannot be effectively policed by the traffic wardens or police officers.''

Angela Rapley, the county's urban traffic engineer, said: ''There are a few(traffic orders) that have been affected by road maintenance work, and we will be looking to amend these appropriately in the next year.''

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