Protest over car parking charges

A CATALOGUE of complaints about car parking charges will be lodged, in protest at a new tariff aimed at driving down council tax bills.Suffolk Coastal District Council has drawn up numerous changes to parking in the district – but Woodbridge Town Council warned that councillors were unhappy with the alterations.

A CATALOGUE of complaints about car parking charges will be lodged, in protest at a new tariff aimed at driving down council tax bills.

Suffolk Coastal District Council has drawn up numerous changes to parking in the district – but Woodbridge Town Council warned that councillors were unhappy with the alterations.

In Woodbridge the district wants to start charging motorists to use The Avenue car park from Monday to Friday and stop the free car park being clogged up by commuters who avoid paying at the railway station. This decision is accepted by the town council.

But councillors said they did not want charging to be introduced at Melton riverside car park and they were unhappy that an excess charge would rise to £50 for motorists who did not pay fines promptly.

They are disappointed that Oak Lane and Hamblin Road car parks will not have free disabled parking and they believe that allowing motorised caravans to use car parks could take up far too many spaces.

Russell Geen, deputy mayor, told the town council meeting: ''I do not think we should grumble about this at all. What is 10p or 20p today? I feel the district council has to make some money but I do not want to make a meal out of this. The district council has not altered the charges for three or four years.''

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But councillor Martin Sylvester said that charging in The Avenue car park would make some motorists park their cars in residential areas.

Jackie Ward, the district council's head of development and policy, said the council's Car Park Task Group and cabinet had reluctantly concluded that price increases and new charges were needed due to the pressure on budgets.

Mrs Ward said that although some of the car park rises appeared high in percentage terms, the charges in the Suffolk Coastal district were, ''likely to be significantly lower than at some neighbouring authorities.''

She said charges for the bands up to two hours at the critical town centre car parks were being raised by only 10p or 20p to maintain the very competitive charges for shoppers.

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