Calls to end free parking in Norfolk town as £4.5m traffic overhaul continues

Queens Square car park in Attleborough will be extended as part of a £4.5m investment in the town's

Queens Square car park in Attleborough will be extended as part of a £4.5m investment in the town's transport. Photo: Google - Credit: Archant

As a £250,000 car park expansion gets underway in a Norfolk town, people are calling on free parking to be removed to stop drivers monopolising spaces.

Work on the car park on Queen's Square in Attleborough will begin on Monday, July 8 and provide an additional 16 spaces at the free lot as part of a a £4.5m investment in the town's transport.

But some local businesses said the council were spending unnecessarily by introducing more bays and that the town's parking issues could be solved by introducing tariffs to prevent people staying longer than two hours.

Nigel Howes at Cranks Bicycles, Exchange Street, said spaces were often taken up by people travelling in to Attleborough from surrounding villages to use the regular bus service to Norwich, leaving those wishing to use the town's high street stuck with nowhere to park.

Vanessa Waters, who lives in Great Ellingham, agreed that it was a deterrent for shoppers.

She said: "It's a problem when these people are filling up the car park all day and obviously not supporting the local shops. It makes it difficult to come to Attleborough to shop. We need to saying you can have two free hours then you need to move, not just having unlimited free parking."

Breckland Council said when the extension was completed it would be trialling a new enforcement system, with people restricted to two hour parking and fined for overstaying.

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A spokesman said: "Once the trials begin, people using the car park will be limited to parking for two hours only and this will be enforced, however other car parks will provide longer-term parking options and all Breckland car parks will remain free to use. The trial will run for a six month period. This work is being delivered alongside a number of other projects which form Breckland's Market Towns Initiative, which aims to support each of the district's towns to remain vibrant and attractive to residents, visitors and businesses."

A similar trial will be launched at three car parks in Swaffham towards the end of July, in response to related concerns about parking turnover.