Residential parking under review in Bury St Edmunds

Churchgate Street in Bury St Edmunds is one of the areas where residents' parking has been an issue.

Churchgate Street in Bury St Edmunds is one of the areas where residents' parking has been an issue. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Residents of Bury St Edmunds are growing increasingly concerned about the lack of residential parking in the town - with nearly four times more permits issued than spaces.

Now an independent review has been started into all residential parking in the town - with the experts set to present a series of options to deal with the problems, though community leaders say there are no easy answers.

The independent review will look into the impact of residential parking enforcement in the town and engage with local residents, businesses and key stakeholders on how the current schemes are working and what improvements can be made. 

Chairman of the Churchgate Area association Vivien Gainsborough Foot, which represents residents and businesses in the heart of the town known as the grid, spoke about the parking situation in her zone, zone D.

She said: "We feel very bad about the grid because there are 463 permits given out for 125 spaces. 

Vivien Gainsborough Foot, chairman of the Churchgate Area Association, in Whiting Street in the Medi

Vivien Gainsborough Foot, chairman of the Churchgate Area Association, in Whiting Street in the Medieval grid Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI - Credit: Archant


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"People from Angel Hill, Abbeygate Street and the Butter Market are allowed to park in Zone D even though they are not in the grid."

West Suffolk Council announced last October that it would start work on a review following the impact of residential parking enforcement in the town. 

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Consultants will be asked to develop and consult on a series of options that will seek to improve the ability of residents to park in the designated area. 

A consultation will start by the end of May with a final report being presented to councillors in autumn. 

The council is responsible for issuing permits for residential parking zones but does not have the authority under the existing scheme to refuse valid applications.

So all it can do is warn people purchasing a permit that it cannot guarantee them a space.

Councillor Peter Stevens, cabinet member for operations at West Suffolk Council, said: “We recognise that finding a place to park is a real issue for many residents living close to Bury St Edmunds town centre.

Peter Stevens with Tim Glover, chairman of the village hall committee,

Councillor Peter Stevens - Credit: Archant

"Many of the houses were built when car ownership was much lower than it is now, and some were built before the car was invented so we have every sympathy with residents and sadly we don’t have easy answers.

"It is a complex issue and 2020 Consultancy have been asked to look at this independently and to come up with a series of options to consult on with residents in the permit zones.”

However, Mrs Gainsborough Foot is not expecting much to change with the review. 

She added: "For about two years now we have been promised 30 extra spaces, it has all been agreed but it keeps getting put off so we have never got these 30 extra spaces.

"I wish the review would take place. They keep talking about it but nothing happens."


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