Public to have say on parking fees plan

By Jenni DixonTHE public will be consulted on a plan for controversial car parking charges in two towns, a council committee has decided.Waveney District Council has unveiled a proposal to change parking arrangements in Halesworth and Southwold, including introducing some charges, but it was met with criticism from businesses, residents and visitors.

By Jenni Dixon

THE public will be consulted on a plan for controversial car parking charges in two towns, a council committee has decided.

Waveney District Council has unveiled a proposal to change parking arrangements in Halesworth and Southwold, including introducing some charges, but it was met with criticism from businesses, residents and visitors.

Now the council's policy development and review committee has decided to defer recommending the plan to its executive so it could be presented to the area forums in January.


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The plan would have seen a single fee charged for all-day parking from Mondays to Saturdays and any period during evenings, nights or Sundays at Southwold's two main car parks from November to April.

At present, users of the Pier and Harbour Quay East car parks only have to pay hourly rates during the summer months.

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Stephan Cornell, chairman of Southwold and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, was concerned the charges would drive customers out of the town during the difficult winter season.

“It would be nice to be consulted about these proposals and be given the chance to discuss them and point out possible downsides,” he said.

Southwold mayor, Sue Allen, added: “Taking it to the area forums sounds like the right thing to do.

“I think in the winter we need to encourage people to come here, particularly from the point of view of the businesses in the town.”

Under the proposal, the free long-stay car park at the Post Office in Halesworth would be changed to a pay-and-display car park for half-hour periods up to two hours if it was resurfaced, otherwise it would become a free two-hour car park.

Another free long-stay car park in Station Road would become a long-stay residents' car park, while free two-hour waiting at the Market Place would change to one-hour.

Philip Reeve, chairman of Halesworth Business Connections, had expressed concern over where workers in the town would park.

“Hopefully, this will crop up in the public consultation and we will get the opportunity to speak on the matter and the views of the local people and businesses will be taken on board,” he said.

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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