Parking permits for residents added to town’s list of priorities

PROBLEM AREA: Sudbury town councillor Tony Platt in Belle Vue Road, where residents are calling for a parking permit system to be used.
PROBLEM AREA: Sudbury town councillor Tony Platt in Belle Vue Road, where residents are calling for a parking permit system to be used.
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Parking permits for Sudbury residents will be discussed with other pressing transport issues next month.

The possibility of running a trial scheme was added to Sudbury Town Council’s list of priorities ahead of a crunch meeting on February 28 with Suffolk County Council, Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, the Market Town Partnership and other groups.

Sudbury has been allocated £460,000 to spend by 2015 as part of the plan. Other issues to be discussed include a clearway near the town’s taxi ranks, 20mph speed limits, the junction between Great Eastern Road and Station Road and air quality in Cross Street due to traffic.

Speaking at Tuesday’s highways and footpaths committee meeting, Jacqui Howells, deputy town council clerk, said the county council had stated that residents’ parking schemes “tend to be self-funding”.

“There are for and against arguments but we’d need to get the support of the majority of residents,” said Mrs Howells.

“If the council wanted to suggest two streets to start with, we would contact all the residents in those roads to assess their views on it but obviously we could not do every street in Sudbury.”

Councillor Nigel Bennett said there were a number of questions to be asked of Suffolk County Council regarding the running of a possible scheme.

“Is the council saying the fee that residents will pay will cover putting up the signs, the marking of streets and the permit you put on your car?” he asked.

“That then raises the question of who enforces it, does the fee also pay for someone to do that? The big point is infrastructure.”

Mr Bennett said the enforcement issue was made more complex by the fact that Babergh District Council was responsible for car park enforcement and Suffolk County Council was responsible for roads.

Tina Read, a Sudbury resident, said she had written to several councillors in November to request parking permits in some residential streets which suffered from overcrowding and use by commuters to avoid parking charges.

“I interviewed a couple of people in Francis Road and the permits are being photocopied and put on cars and then the owners are going over to the station,” she said, adding that community warden Bradley Smith policed the scheme.

Mrs Read said 27 residents from Belle Vue Road and Burroughs Piece Road had signed her letter calling for permits.

Committee chairman Tony Platt said: “The hope is that we will come up with some kind of scheme that will bring more certainty.”

Councillor Adrian Osborne said that, while he supported permit parking due to a lack of on-street spaces in Sudbury, councillors needed to be wary.

“If we have permit parking everywhere and no enforcement, then you just move the problem to another road,” he said.

The committee agreed to ask Suffolk County Council for further information on the costs associated with parking permits.