Parking charges revamp in north Norfolk

Car parking in north Norfolk is looking set for a second shake up in under a year - including scrapping a controversial 20-minute parking policy.

Car parking in north Norfolk is looking set for a second shake up in under a year - including scrapping a controversial 20-minute parking policy.

It is hoped changes to the district's car parking regime could reap North Norfolk District Council an extra £55,000 a year in revenue, but also simplify what has become a very confusing system, which has drawn criticism from visitors, traders and tourists.

Under the proposals, a June to September seasonal charging scheme, which saw car parks re-designated as tourist day car parks and short stay car parks from July this year, would be made all-year-round.

Two-hour short stay parking for shoppers, introduced at the same time, would be extended to three hours.

And a controversial mini stay charge of 10p for 20 minutes in some car parks would be axed, all as of April 1 next year.

This would potentially gain the council an extra £55,000 in revenue a year, it says, and appease an outcry from local traders and shoppers, especially in Cromer, that the two-hour limit was not long enough.

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Existing hourly charging, set at £1 in the tourist car parks, or £4 for a day, and 60p per hour in all other car parks, would remain the same, under the proposals, despite some objection it was too costly.

In a report to the district council's cabinet, due to discuss the proposals on Monday , Sheila Oxtoby, strategic director of resources, said about £90,000 in additional revenue was made because of the changes this year.

This was mainly through the tourist car parks, which made £341,250 from July to September, compared to £248,570 last year.

However, income from short stay car parks dropped and the mini-stay car parks meant a loss of income of about £25,000 to £30,000.

Response from the public about the changes included criticism that Cromer's Meadow car park being changed to a tourist car park, meant short stay town shoppers could no longer park there.

The two-hour limit on short stay was widely panned as not long enough for shoppers, adversely impacting on local businesses, and a lack of signage pointing out which car parks were for what was also a bone of contention.