Fears raised over stringent parking restrictions detering shoppers from Fakenham

Fakenham from above. Photo: Mike Page.

Fakenham from above. Photo: Mike Page. - Credit: Archant

Calls have been made for parking officials to show a bit of festive spirit as fears are raised that stringent restrictions will deter shoppers from a market town.

Earlier this year the maximum stay for free parking at the Millers Walk Car Park, either side of Whitehorse Street in Fakenham, was reduced from three hours to two and monitoring measures were put in place.

Since then shoppers have complained to Fakenham Town Council, saying the parking attendants had been 'too strict'. There have been reports that motorists have been fined for being marginally over the white parking space line, or have been ticketed for being just a few minutes over time.

Such claims have been rebuffed by Norfolk Parking Enforcement (NPE), which manages the site. Company bosses said concerns raised by the town council were 'totally unfounded' and that all fines had been issued in line with British Parking Association's code of practice.

Town mayor Jeremy Punchard said: 'The parking enforcement has enabled greater opportunity for people to park in the town. However, the rigorousness with which they are enforcing it is disappointing.

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'We are trying to get people to shop in Fakenham rather than go to Dereham, Norwich or King's Lynn. We don't want people to be put off and steered away because of the threat of being ticketed.'

A NPE spokesman said Millers Walk Car Park had long suffered from drivers parking vehicles all day long for reasons other than shopping in Fakenham and that the restrictions have enabled more people to shop in the town.

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He said: 'The reason the parking restrictions are in place are straightforward and simple, it is to 'protect the long term economy of the town'.'

• What do you think? Write to edpletters@archant.co.uk

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