South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss

MPs and Labour leader welcome decision on car park charges in Dereham, Thetford, Swaffham, Watton and Attleborough

Saturday, February 2, 2013
4.51 PM

Two MPs have welcomed a decision not to introduce car parking charges in five mid-Norfolk towns.

Well-used - the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham.; Photo: Bill SmithWell-used - the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham.; Photo: Bill Smith

A Breckland Council feasibility study into fees at its car parks in Dereham, Thetford, Swaffham, Watton and Attleborough had concluded it could have made a profit of up to £828,000.

The study itself cost £14,000 in internal staff costs.

Council leader William Nunn yesterday announced that concerns raised by local residents and fears about the impact on the economies of the market towns prompted councillors not to go ahead.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss tweeted: “Good news as free parking continues in Thetford and Swaffham. Do pass Go, do not pay 200 pounds. (Poetic license)”.

Meanwhile Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman tweeted: “Well done Breckland Council for listening to local views and NOT instigating parking charges on fragile rural town centres. #realleadership”

The Labour party in Breckland last year launched a petition against the possible introduction of parking fees.

Terry Jermy, who leads the Labour group on the council, said: “I am delighted with the news regarding car parking charges. This is something the Breckland Labour group fought very strongly for as this would have a massive detrimental effect on our towns.

“It is disappointing that so much money and time was wasted on such an ill-conceived idea.”