Is parking in town still an issue?

The Hollies car park, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

The Hollies car park, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Efforts to improve a town's parking problems are ongoing following years of concern from residents and businesses.

The Hollies car park, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

The Hollies car park, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Downham Market Town Council carried out a public car parking consultation in 2016 following complaints from residents and businesses in the town. The results found people were concerned about the lack of spaces, misuse and abuse of disabled parking allocation and loading zones and high way congestion as a result of the car parks.

Several years on the town council says the ongoing problem has led them to seek out a resolution.

Elaine Oliver, Downham Market town clerk, said: "Obviously there's been issues with parking and the council has been working on it for many years.

"As a result of a public consultation a car parking committee will be looking at addressing the issues.

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"Car parking is an issue. It has its ups and downs and every town has issues. We're working on it and hoping to come to a conclusion in the New Year."

Car parking has been a significant matter of discussion in the town for around 20 years and it has been recommended the town council introduce parking charges to deal with the problem.

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Currently Downham has approximately 975 available parking spaces, 661 off-street spaces are in and around the town centre including 280 private store spaces at Tesco's.

Some residents have been deterred from driving into Downham Market because of the sheer number of cars parked in the town, whilst others have said they do not believe it is an issue.

Ronald Knight, 89, said: "I don't bring my car into town and if I do I only do it once a week when it's quiet- usually a Wednesday. I take the bus because it's too busy and on weekends I don't even bother.

"What can you do, it's a problem all over the country. There's just too many cars, you have to live with it."

Rachel Wiggans, a 31-year-old mum, did not quite agree.

"I don't think it's a problem. I've never had an issue, it's not hard to park here compared to Ely and Cambridge," she said.

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