‘Something needs to be done’ - will new scheme solve town’s parking problem?
PUBLISHED: 06:38 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:55 20 February 2020
Business leaders have raised questions over a parking trial aimed at boosting business in a market town.
Parking at Queen's Square Car Park in Attleborough is free and unlimited, but Attleborough Town Council wants to impose restrictions and increase the turnover of spaces.
Following initial feedback, a trial period with a three-hour time limit has been proposed, although parking at the Breckland Council-owned facility would remain free.
With a consultation period under way several business owners and employees believe imposing a time limit would ensure Queen's Square serves its purpose.
"It's a good idea because you get a lot of people who meet there and carpool into Norwich," said Jonathan Perfect, 42, who works at Aldridge Crafts on the square.
"I've also come across people parking there in the morning and walking home, so they've got a space for when they pick up their children from school."
David Reger, owner of nearby Nuts 'n' Bolts, added: "The problem we have is people using the car park for things other than shopping in Attleborough.
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"I do think businesses are going to benefit from this, but the problem here is perception. Most of the time you're able to park at Queen's Square, but if people have doubts they'll go somewhere they know they can park."
Despite the potential for more shoppers using Attleborough's facilities, some are unhappy with the anticipated impact on workers.
"Lots of people drive into Attleborough, park and then come to work," said Anna Chamberlain-Stone, who works at The Coffee Lounge.
"I understand wanting a turnover of spaces to get people in, but it should be half and half so workers can park.
"Something definitely needs to be done because our high streets are slowing dying a death."
Tim Cobb, owner at The Bakery on Church Street, says the general issue of parking in Attleborough is worsening by the day.
"The reality is we haven't got enough car parks, especially with 4,500 houses coming in the next 15 years," he said.
"Primarily we need to increase footfall, but there's just nowhere for people to park. Where are the cars going to go?"
Sue Shilling, manager at the RSPCA shop on Exchange Street, added: "Other market towns in Norfolk have car parks with limits and they're bustling places. Whether that will work here I'm not sure."