'Don't cut half our parking' - Plea to axe proposed permit scheme in Ipswich street

Andrew Laws in Rectory Road, Ipswich, where a parking permit scheme is proposed

Andrew Laws is concerned over a proposed parking permit scheme in Rectory Road, Ipswich - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant

People living in an Ipswich street are calling for a proposed parking permit scheme to be axed - warning it will cause more problems than it solves.

Cars parked along both sides of Rectory Road in Ipswich

Cars parked along both sides of Rectory Road in Ipswich. There are proposals to introduce a permit scheme which would cut the amount of parking space - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant

Suffolk Highways has launched a consultation over restricting parking in Rectory Road to permit holders between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday, as part of plans to introduce permits for 14 roads in the Bridge area. 

The proposals come after long-standing complaints by residents in the Old Stoke area about problem parking by those not living in those roads. A survey in September 2018 found there was enough support for a resident permit zone.

Residents Ivika Thompson, Catherine Philips and Andrew Laws in Rectory Road, Ipswich

Residents Ivika Thompson, Catherine Philips and Andrew Laws, who are concerned over a proposed parking permit scheme in Rectory Road, Ipswich - Credit: Graham Birks

However, in Rectory Road, residents say the new regulations will cut the amount of parking by more than half. Because the road is narrow,  parking bays will be limited to one side of the road, with yellow lines painted on the other side. For most of the road this will be a single yellow line, with double yellow lines at pinch points

Resident Andrew Laws said: "The problem with the proposed scheme is that half the residents park up on the kerb on the side of the road that will be marked with a yellow line. So the amount of parking available on the street will be halved.

"I have lived here for 20 years and acknowledge that parking has always been a problem due to shoppers, commuters, football fans and even people leaving their cars here and going on holiday.

"Removing half the available parking won't solve the parking problem. It will push the problem to other roads, or at worse it will force some families who have lived here for many years to move away."

Andrew Laws with the sign about the proposed parking permit scheme in Rectory Road, Ipswich

Andrew Laws with the sign about the proposed parking permit scheme in Rectory Road, Ipswich - Credit: Graham Birks

Sarah Potter feels equally strongly and has responded to the consultation. She said: "I have looked at the plans and I think we are going to lose 60-plus spaces.

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"I really feel that for us to lose half the parking spaces on Rectory Road isn't going to help. What is being proposed is going to make things worse."

A sign in Rectory Road, Ipswich, about the proposed parking permit scheme 

A sign in Rectory Road, Ipswich, about the proposed parking permit scheme - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant

Another resident, Neil Thomson, said: "As far as I can see, this won't solve any problem, but just create a lot more problems. I don't think there is much support for this in the community."

He said many people in the street were currently working at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, so the demand for parking from residents was currently even greater.

Mr Thomson said residents were likely to have to park on single yellow lines overnight and would then have to try to find somewhere to move their cars to by 8am, or end up being fined.

Residents have until December 18 to give their views over the scheme, which would be enforced by Ipswich Borough Council on the county's behalf.

A Suffolk Highways spokesman advised people to give their views, saying: "All comments that are officially logged in response to the consultation  will be reviewed once the consultation process has ended."

When the consultation was launched, Jack Abbott,  Suffolk County Council member for the Bridge division, said: “I encourage those who receive a letter to make their comments regarding the proposals, whether these are in support of the scheme, an objection or just a suggestion; as these will all be considered as part of the final decision."

Sarah Barber, portfolio holder for the town centre at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “I would encourage any residents of Rectory Road who have a view on whether or not to introduce a Residents Parking Zone (RPZ) to respond to the county council’s consultation no later than December 18. 

“Details about the proposal and detailed plans for each street are available. Once the closing date for receiving objections and comments has passed, all comments will be reviewed and a final decision will be made by senior councillors and officers from Suffolk County Council about whether this scheme is implemented as advertised, amended or not proceeded with.”

To see the consultation documents and have your say, visit the website.

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