Parking ‘nightmare’ in town’s high street

A PARKING “nightmare” is said to have been created in Haverhill High Street following an increase in car parking charges.

Maureen Byrne, borough councillor for Haverhill South, raised the issue of drivers – including disabled blue badge holders – parking illegally in the High Street at St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Wednesday.

In April, charges at the borough council’s four off-street car parks in Haverhill went up by 10% for parking for more than an hour. And charges were introduced for the first time for blue badge holders across the borough’s off-street car parks.

Mrs Byrne said parking in the High Street was an ongoing problem, but had “got considerably worse” since charges went up.

She said: “I have to tell you we have a massive problem now on the High Street where blue badge holders are parking illegally along with others since the charges have been introduced, and it is a very serious problem.”

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Mrs Byrne, who is a blue badge holder, said the High Street is pedestrianised between 10am and 4pm and only blue badge holders and delivery vehicles for loading and unloading are allowed through.

There are free parking spaces for blue badge holders in the High Street, but Mrs Byrne said these were often getting filled by non-badge holders trying to avoid the charges. The knock-on effect, she said, was some blue badge holders were then parking on double yellow lines and the pavement.

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“Walking down Haverhill High Street you put your life in danger at the moment,” she said.

She added how there was strong support for barriers, but there would need to be a means of access for delivery vehicles and blue badge holders.

Pc Richard Oldroyd said inconsiderate parking in Haverhill High Street had been an ongoing Safer Neighbourhood Team priority for some months.

“Officers continue to patrol the area, issuing Fixed Penalty Notices to offending vehicles whether they are blue badge holders or not. The team also seeks to educate drivers when appropriate.

“We will continue to monitor the situation as long as members of the public feel it should be a priority, but we are urging everyone to refrain from parking illegally in the town centre as it causes a real danger to other road users.”

As part of a review of car parking charges throughout the borough research is set to be undertaken with the public at car parks.

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