Parking permits on the cards
PERMIT parking is on the cards for Southwold - as the county and district councils prepare to unveil traffic proposals for the town this weekend.Residents and visitors are being invited to look at and comment on proposals for car parking in the traffic-choked town at an exhibition at Southwold Library in North Green.
PERMIT parking is on the cards for Southwold - as the county and district councils prepare to unveil traffic proposals for the town this weekend.
Residents and visitors are being invited to look at and comment on proposals for car parking in the traffic-choked town at an exhibition at Southwold Library in North Green.
But there has been a mixed reaction to the proposals - which include controlled parking bays for residents - from the town's council, businesses and residents.
Stephan Cornell, chairman of the area's chamber of trade and commerce, said: “We would be against anything that limits opportunities for people to come into Southwold to do shopping.
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“We would also be very concerned if residents are in anyway inconvenienced to pay a high level of rates for parking in Southwold.”
Mr Cornell owns Sutherland House restaurant in the High Street and added permit parking would not be good news for a lot of his catering staff who live outside the town and drive in.
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However, filmmaker Iain Cox, of Chester Road, near the seafront, is in favour of permit parking - provided the charges are fair.
He said: “I think permit parking is a good idea as there isn't much car parking space at the moment and what there is at a premium.
“I would be for it as long as the charge isn't extortionate - residents in Southwold pay so much council tax anyway.”
David Holland, spokesman for the district council, which would manage any residential parking scheme, could not confirm how much it would cost.
But he added that for a similar facility in Lowestoft, residents paid £15 a year.
Geraldine Bryant, town mayor, of Pier Avenue, said permit parking was something the town council's traffic management group backed.
She added: “It is my personal opinion that residents' parking is of paramount importance.
“Their quality of life should come first and I am very pleased this is included in the exhibition. The price also seems fair and worthwhile.”
The planned strategy divides the town into two zones:
n The town centre on-street parking should be short-stay, where no period of waiting should exceed half-an-hour with parking controlled bays in residential areas.
n Outside the town centre, on-street and off-street parking should be limited to no less than two hours or unrestricted waiting with permit parking in some residential streets. Visitors will be encouraged to use the pier and harbour car parks.
Any residents' parking scheme will be managed by the district council with charges covering administration and enforcement fees.
The Suffolk County Council-organised exhibition at Southwold library will run from Saturday until August 26.
Comments will be taken on-board by the district and county councils and added to their parking strategy before work is started on detailed proposals, in conjunction with the town council.
A further exhibition will be organised to modify the plans before any changes are implemented.