New trial to stop people 'abusing' free parking to begin

A time limit could be introduced at Queen's Square Car Park in Attleborough to boost trade in the to

A new car parking trial is set to be introduced on March 21 in Attleborough. - Credit: Archant

A trial aiming to clamp down on people "abusing" free parking is set to begin in a Norfolk town.

Drivers using the Queen's Square car park in Attleborough will be limited to three hours of free parking as part of the six-month trial which starts on Monday, March 21.

Council leaders had said the existing system had been "abused" by people leaving cars for days and also by Norwich commuters using the car park before travelling on trains and buses to the city.

This means spaces in the car park are taking by people who are "ignoring the shops and facilities in town".

Cllr Paul Hewett, Breckland's executive member for property and projects, said: "This new trial in Queen’s Square car park is part of our Thriving Breckland programme.

"It will examine how a three-hour free parking offer can help develop a churn in spaces in the car park, increase footfall into the town and bring in more shoppers from further afield, attracted by more accessible free parking and a wide range of independent stores.”

The trial will see a three-hour time limit, with no return within one hour imposed between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday.

Allowances will be made for the market traders using the market trader bays on Thursdays.

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Cllr Philip Leslie, Mayor of Attleborough, added: “We welcome the car park trial to examine if more people visit the towns shops and services and will be monitoring the impact very closely throughout the six-month period.

"The trial will offer us a unique chance to review how shoppers use local car parks. We are aware of the need for long-term parking alternatives and are working with Breckland to identify solutions.”