Rise in parking charges could see station axed

WARNING: Sudbury mayor Jack Owen says  increasing long-stay parking charges would be foolish.
WARNING: Sudbury mayor Jack Owen says increasing long-stay parking charges would be foolish.

Fears have been voiced that a potential increase in long-stay charges at car parks in Sudbury could result in the town losing its railway station.

Members of Sudbury Town Council are working with the Chamber of Commerce on a business plan to take over the management of car parks in the town and Hadleigh from Babergh District Council.

The move is designed to safeguard the future of free three hour parking, but in order to make the take over viable a rise in long-stay charges may be required.

During a meeting on Tuesday Tony Platt, town councillor and member of the car parking group, said proposals were advancing and Babergh had given assurances that short-stay fees would not be introduced within the next two years.

Town councillor Simon Clarke said a rise in long-stay charges would send commuters to Marks Tey and Colchester.

“We could lose the branch line if commuters go elsewhere,” he said.

“The car parks are already half empty,” he added.

Mayor Jack Owen said it would be “foolish” to increase charges any further.

Mr Platt said the car parking group would keep charges as low as possible.

“We would always keep long-term charges better than the price of parking at Marks Tey and Colchester,” he said.

“I would go there myself otherwise.”