Public car park to be made free for jab appointments

Norfolk's first eco-gym opens in North Walsham. Town mayor Garry Bull using the new equipment at Mem

North Walsham mayor Garry Bull.  - Credit: John Newstead

A town centre car park will be reserved for the exclusive and free use of people using a new Covid-19 immunisation centre in a north Norfolk town. 

Only people going in for the jab at North Walsham Community Centre will be able to use the adjacent New Road Car Park from Saturday, February 6.

The community centre is one of three new vaccination hubs for Norfolk just announced, along with the King's Lynn Corn Exchange and Attleborough's Connaught Hall.

Steve Blatch, North Norfolk District Council's chief executive, said at a cabinet meeting on Monday: “The district council has supported these plans by agreeing to suspend car parking charges at North Walsham New Road for people attending a vaccination.

North Walsham Community Centre at 40

North Walsham Community Centre will soon become a vaccination hub. - Credit: Archant

“We would therefore ask people using North Walsham town centre to use car parks at Bank Loke, Mundesley Road and Vicarage Street, from the end of this week.”

Garry Bull, town mayor, said having a vaccination centre in the centre of town was a "very welcome step".

Mr Bull said he understood the car park may be visited by volunteer marshals to make sure the free parking there was not being abused.

He said: "The vast majority of people are very sensible and I'm sure wouldn't do that.

John Guttridge, from Wacton, having his COVID-19 vaccination at the Castle Quarter Vaccination Centr

Coronavirus vaccinations will soon be taking place at North Walsham Community Centre. - Credit: Danielle Booden

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"This is a boost - at the end of the day we are the biggest market town in north Norfolk and well placed for the surrounding villages."

Richard Kershaw, the council's portfolio holder for sustainable growth, also praised the move, and said: “I have to applaud the officers in being very quick in organising signage and parking free of charge.

"This is a great step forward and I think it’s going to give people a lot more confidence in the coming weeks.”

The announcement comes just days after Melanie Craig, head of Norfolk and Waveney's immunisation programme had pledged a larger pool of vaccination hubs over the coming weeks. 

She said: “NHS staff are doing an incredible job to deliver what it is the largest vaccination programme in our history, at the same time as providing vital services for people who need our care.

"A significant number of Norfolk and Waveney’s most vulnerable patients have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and this new centre will accelerate progress even further."

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