New parking fees for Waveney to be discussed

NEW car parking fees and arrangements across Waveney are to be discussed on Monday by councillors.

The council's cabinet will be discussing what it calls a 'general alignment and simplification of parking fees and charges to improve clarity and consistency'.

If approved visitors to Waveney's car parks will face a new parking regime with some increased or lower fees.

Most changes involve increases or decreases of between 5p and 20p per hour for motorists.

The council says most increases will be by 5p an hour as charges are being rounded up because machines no longer take five pence pieces.

Another proposal will see continued free parking through the district from 6pm to help boost businesses and sea front traders.

The cabinet is also being asked to continue the provision of reduced all day parking on some outer car parks to support tourism.

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Other proposed measure include the introduction of additional and extended free spaces in Bungay and Halesworth in line with previous changes in Beccles, free parking days (from 10am) on the three Saturdays before Christmas, and the general redusction of all day parking fees.

Charges for blue badge holders will also be introduced in line with other councils.

The new arrangements follow a council consultation with businesses and community groups.

Stephen Ardley, deputy leader of the council, said: 'During the past six months the council's current car parking fees and charges have been carefully considered.

'Car parks provide a vital revenue stream to the council and we have to be very careful to get our prices right.

'Too cheap and our revenue drops too expensive and customers are rightly put off.

'Any increase or reduction reflects the council's carefully managed financial strategy, taking into account market conditions, increased usage and the need of customers who have no choice but to use the service.

'The alignment of many charges across the district means a vast number of visitors and shoppers will enjoy reduced prices at times that suit them.

'However, reductions right across the board are sadly impossible, given the importance of protecting income which eases the council's budget pressures and the delivery of vital services to residents and tax payers.'

If approved on Monday the new fees will come into operation in the next six to eight weeks, unless they are called in by the scrutiny committee.

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