Car parking charges could be introduced at Downham Market

Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Controversial proposals to introduce car parking charges for the first time in Downham Market have received a mixed reaction in the town.

The proposal would free-up more spaces in the town centre, a report has recommended, and stop commuters leaving their cars in Downham and catching the train to London.

Malcolm Starreveld, a member of the town council's working group that worked alongside consultants Apex Parking on the study, said: 'In one case a driver was travelling from Holt to Downham, leaving his car, and using the train. We have coach trips pick up at the Hollies car park and people leaving their cars for up to a week. Nobody wants charging to be introduced. Over the last 30 years, the town has grown considerably and it's only going to grow further – it's an issue that we have to deal with.'

Two recommendations of how car parking charges could be introduced are outlined in the report.

The first involves leasing the council's off-street car parks to a contractor and introducing the charges. The other approach involves providing free parking for the first hour and then introducing the charges afterwards.

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The town council has formally adopted the report and accepted its findings, but stresses that these are just recommendations at this stage.

The report found that the town's car parks are at either full or at 95pc capacity and with demand predicted to increase between 7-10pc, up to 37 extra off-street car parking spaces are needed over the next five years.

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The issue will continue to be debated by the town's new council following the election.

Would you mind car parking charges being introduced to Downham Market? Email

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