Felixstowe: Free parking is extended for Christmas festivities on Saturday after traders’ protest

Flashback to Felixstowe Christmas Lights switch on and street market last year

Flashback to Felixstowe Christmas Lights switch on and street market last year - Credit: Archant

Protests over a two-hour period of free parking granted for a town’s Christmas celebrations have led to a change of heart.

Community carol singing at last year's Christmas lights switch on ceremony in Felixstowe.

Community carol singing at last year's Christmas lights switch on ceremony in Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Coastal announced that parking charges would be set aside from 4pm to 6pm in Felixstowe on Saturday – when the town has a Christmas craft market and the switching on of its festive season lighting display.

But the decision was slammed by Andrew Rowdon, chairman of the resort’s chamber of trade, as “not worth the bother” as two hours at the very end of the day would do little to bring in extra shoppers.

Following the complaints and fresh negotiations, there will now be free parking all day.

Andrew Nunn, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member, said: “At Christmas, we feel it is important for Suffolk Coastal to play its part in encouraging people to shop locally and attend the festive events by providing free car parking.

“The free car parking is made available through the simple process of us liaising with our colleagues in the key town and parish councils to find out what events they have organised which could be supported in this way.

“In the case of Felixstowe, the original request from the town council was for two hours’ free car parking between 4pm and 6pm on Saturday to support the switching on of the Christmas lights.

“This request was granted and provision made for the free parking.

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“Now, following further consultation with the town council, it has been decided to extend this by providing free all-day parking from 8am to 6pm in the Crescent Road, Highfield Road and Ranelagh Road car parks on Saturday to ensure maximum support for the Christmas fair which is going on throughout the day.”

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