Visitors to car parks at two West Suffolk locations will need to display a parking ticket from next Tuesday, September 1, although there will be no charge.
The changes, which are being brought in at the Bury Road car park in Brandon, and the Moreton Hall Community Centre and shops car park in Lawson Place, are designed to support the needs of local businesses and follow the recommendations of a car parks review.
In Brandon, Bury Road car park which is currently unrestricted, will become a short stay car park with a maximum stay of three hours allowed. Long stay car parking is available in George Street.
It follows feedback during the car parks review that people using the town centre businesses sometimes struggled to find places to park with spaces often filled with cars parked all day. Drivers will need to display a ticket available at no charge, enabling the council to enforce short stay parking.
It is a similar situation on Moreton Hall, in Bury St Edmunds, where existing restrictions meant vehicles should only be parked for three hours or four on Sundays.
Local businesses had complained that the car park was often full with vehicles that had parked there all day while their owners went into the town centre. With no system to verify when people had arrived, it was difficult to enforce. The ticket system will mean that council staff can issue fines to vehicles not displaying a valid ticket or one that has expired.
Peter Stevens, Cabinet Member for Operations which includes car parks, said: “We consulted with local businesses, car park users and other partners during the car parks review. We have listened to the concerns raised and have worked with them to create a solution to the parking issues they were experiencing in Brandon and on Moreton Hall. We are now bringing in these changes and naturally, we will monitor its effectiveness.”
The ticket system has already been used at West Suffolk House for several years to ensure that there is space for visitors to park.
The council’s car parks cost the authority around £1 million per year in Business Rates with further costs for staffing, maintenance and enforcement.