Free parking for 30 minutes at 48 car parks

Lowestoft town centre in the sunshine. Picture: Mick Howes

Lowestoft town centre in the sunshine earlier this year. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

A council is extending a free parking scheme across its car parks in a bid to encourage more people to shop local in the run up to Christmas.

From this Friday, December 4 free 30-minute parking will be available in 48 of East Suffolk Council’s car parks.

One of East Suffolk's car parks in use in Lowestoft at the end of May. Picture: Mick Howes

One of East Suffolk's car parks in use in Lowestoft at the end of May. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

With new parking charges introduced across the district four months ago after a thorough review of car park usage, council chiefs said that issues created by the Covid-19 virus had affected drivers’ behaviour.

And as a response to concerns raised by businesses about the impact of the pandemic, East Suffolk Council has agreed to extend its free 30-minute parking tariff to 13 additional car parks - up from the original 35.

One of East Suffolk's car parks at Hungate in Beccles. Picture: Google Images

One of East Suffolk's car parks at Hungate in Beccles. Picture: Google Images - Credit: Google Images

Coinciding with the easing of national coronavirus restrictions that enable a wide range of businesses to reopen, free 30-minute parking will be available in 48 different car parks across the district from Friday.

Norman Brooks, cabinet member for transport, said: "Moving into Tier Two enables many businesses to reopen and for customers to return safely to our towns to support our local businesses in the run-up to Christmas.

"Social distancing measures have reduced the number of 'on street' bays and so it makes sense to increase availability in our car parks for people who are making quick 'pop in' visits to our town centres.”

The Pakefield Road car park. PHOTO: Colin Tuttle

The Pakefield Road car park. PHOTO: Colin Tuttle - Credit: Colin Tuttle

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Also from Friday, with Covid restrictions reduced, parking patrols will be monitoring residential zones and car parks.

Responsibility for managing roadside parking offences in Suffolk was transferred from the police to the district and borough councils earlier this year in a bid to improve parking locally.

Shoppers on London Road North in Lowestoft ahead of the second national lockdown. Picture: Mick Howes

Shoppers on London Road North in Lowestoft ahead of the second national lockdown. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The local East Suffolk car parks providing half hour free parking from Friday, December 4 are Blyburgate, Hungate and Newgate in Beccles; Priory Lane and Wharton Street in Bungay; Angel North, Angel South, Bridge Street, Station Road and Thoroughfare in Halesworth; Clifton Road in Kirkley; Pakefield Road and Pakefield Street Pakefield; Battery Green, Britten Centre, Clapham Road, Kirkley Cliff, Royal Green, St Peters Street and Tennyson Road in Lowestoft; Nicholas Everitt Park in Oulton Broad; Ferry Road, Harbour Quay East and Southwold Pier in Southwold.

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