Charges not to blame for illegal parking

A COUNCIL today denied massive car parking charge hikes in Stowmarket are leading to motorists parking illegally on private land in the town.

By MARK BULSTRODE, mid Suffolk reporter>

MASSIVE car parking charge hikes in Stowmarket are not leading to motorists parking illegally on private land in the town, officials said today.

From today, wheel clamps were being fixed to cars left outside Stowmarket's Weston Court sheltered housing complex, in Iliffe Way.

The move has been introduced by Mid Suffolk District Council following complaints from residents in the complex and elderly tenants living opposite.

The residents - backed by David Ruffley MP - were concerned the number of vehicles parked in the area would prevent their carers, family members and health services being able to find a space.

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But the district council today refuted suggestions the new car parking charges introduced at the beginning of this month were behind the problem, saying the issue has existed for a long period of time.

For the past three weeks, drivers parking in the area have returned to their vehicles to see notices under their windscreen wiper advising them of the crackdown.

A new warning sign has also been put at the access point of the site.

Nick Gowrley, head of housing at the council, said: "There's ample notice that this is private land and that public parking is not welcome. Unfortunately, we've had to take this measure because a minority of people choose to inconvenience our residents.

"We very much hope we won't have to use this sanction. However, we put the needs of our residents first and will have no hesitation in using these clamps."

Clamped vehicle owners will have to pay a £100 fine and wait for it to be removed.

What do you think of the crackdown? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail or join the forum at

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