Sudbury: Permit parking idea scrapped due to lack of support

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
8:41 AM

Hopes of introducing permit parking to solve ongoing problems in Sudbury have been dashed after the idea was rejected by residents.

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Since long-stay charges were brought in on the town’s main car parks, the local council has received dozens of letters from people concerned about motorists parking in narrow streets outside their homes to avoid time restrictions and fees.

As a result, for the past two years town councillors have been pushing for either a residents’ permit parking scheme or the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE), which they believed could stamp out the problem.

They were told by Suffolk County Council that CPE would be expensive to implement and would have to be introduced countywide rather than on an individual town basis.

So in conjunction with the county and district councils, they sent out a questionnaire to people living in a number of streets near the town centre to gauge views on a residents parking scheme.

Out of 281 consultation packs delivered to properties on 16 streets including Belle Vue Road, Corporal Lillie Close, Edgworth Road and Quay Lane, only half of the questionnaires were completed and just 20% of those were in favour of paying for residents parking.

Tony Platt, town council highways committee chairman, said he was shocked at the results which proved there was insufficient backing for the scheme.

He said: “I was very surprised that the support wasn’t higher because a number of people asked us to consider it, but we have to go along with what they have said in the surveys.

“I think what puts people off is that even if they pay out the £70 for a permit, it doesn’t guarantee them a space in a road or outside their own house, because there would be more permits issued than there are spaces.

“I am however pleased that the county noticed there were a lot of valuable suggestions in the responses and that they are planning to follow up on this.”

These include waiting restrictions on the affected roads. Mr Platt said added: “No parking between 2pm and 3pm for example would prevent people from arriving in the morning and leaving their car all day while they catch a train to London.”

According to Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, the councils decided the level of public support for a permit scheme was not enough to justify the expense of undertaking further design and legal work.

He said: “The detailed responses from individual households were very informative and a number of concerns were raised.

“But, clearly, there isn’t enough public support to justify a scheme like this at this stage.

“The information collected will be used to assess whether or not there are any minor changes we could make to improve the parking situation in Sudbury, in particular in Belle Vue Road, Burroughs Piece Road, Bullocks Lane and Hyde Road.”

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