The threat of increased car parking charges in Bury St Edmunds and the potential axing of the “Free from 3” scheme on Tuesday afternoons has prompted campaigners to launch a petition.
West Suffolk Council’s parking review group has put forward the recommendations and has also suggested parking charges be hiked across the town to generate more than £300,000 in extra income and the £1 evening charge would no longer apply with the normal tariff extended to 8pm.
Facebook group “We Love Bury St Edmunds!” started a change.org petition calling for two days of free parking in all car parks including Wednesday for the town’s market.
The petition said: “In these times of struggling high streets, with pressure being put upon local businesses of high business rates (as set by central government), and high rents, increasing charges for parking would be detrimental to the businesses and success of the town. We want Bury St Edmunds and its businesses to become more successful and stronger because we believe in what we have and do not wish to lose it.”
The review group’s recommendations will be discussed by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee next Thursday with cabinet having the final say when it meets on February 11.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds, tweeted: “A very disappointing report with no consideration for the impact upon businesses or their customers.cvAll about raising funds for the council. Having said that I am confident that the members of the overview and scrutiny committee and the council cabinet will see ‘the bigger picture’.”