Mixed views on introduction of car-park charges in town

Downham Market car parking consultation at the Town Hall. Picture: Ian Burt

Downham Market car parking consultation at the Town Hall. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Opinion is divided in Downham Market on whether charging for car parking should be introduced in the town.

Hundreds of people attended a meeting at the town hall to discuss the council's car park management strategy.

At present parking is free at the town council's car parks and an assessment by specialist consultants Alpha Parking found that they were either full or at 95pc capacity.

It also said that without significant capital investment, some form of charging would have to be introduced.

Luke Harding, from Alpha Parking, told the meeting: 'At present I could park my car on a council car park for three months without being told to move it.'

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One of the preferred options under consideration is for free parking for one hour, and then charging. But many people at the meeting said that one hour was insufficient.

Afterwards, Belinda Gee, from Downham Market, said: 'Some kind of free parking needs to be kept in the town. We have to think about the merchants.

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'If we don't keep some form of free parking, shoppers will go to King's Lynn or Ely.'

Her friend Clement Vanderberren, of Barroway Grove, said that, while free parking brought shoppers into town, he would be willing to pay for parking at a reasonable price.

People at the meeting were asked to fill in a questionnaire and the results will be announced later.

Do you think a charge should be brought in for car parking in Downham Market? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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