Reassurance over rise in car park fees

VILLAGERS were reassured today that proposals to introduce charges for their public car parks would not come into force until at least 2008.They were told there would be full consultation before the changes were made in Wickham Market.

VILLAGERS were reassured today that proposals to introduce charges for their public car parks would not come into force until at least 2008.

They were told there would be full consultation before the changes were made in Wickham Market.

A report produced by Suffolk Coastal's car park task group on the proposals for the three council-owned car parks will be considered by cabinet members on November 7.

Wickham Market and Framlingham are the only larger settlements left in district where car parking is still free.

“We appreciate that the proposed introduction of car park charges at Wickham Market has caused concern with local residents and businesses, but the charges under consideration are being kept as low as possible,” said Andy Smith, chairman of the task group.

“The charges suggested have been kept low and it is felt that they will not represent any serious disincentive for people to continue to visit the town.”

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The recommendation of the task group is, in principle, that charges be introduced at Market Hill and Crafers car parks, and more research is undertaken into the complex issues at Chapel Lane, a car park serving community facilities.

The group also recommended any decision to charge was not implemented until the next major revision of the Off-Street Car Parks Order, probably in 2008 with full public consultation nearer that time.

Charges recommended for the Hill car park, a short stay car park, would be 20p for up to 30 minutes, 40p for up to one hour and 70p for up to two hours.

Crafers would be a long stay car park, used by people employed in the area, tourists and longer stay shoppers. Charges suggested would be in line with similar car parks in the district - 40p for up to one hour, 70p for two hours, £1 for two to four hours and £1.50 for over four hours.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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