Shoppers will be less inclined to use Sudbury if they have to pay for parking, according to feedback given as part of a save Sudbury free parking campaign.
Sam Bawden, chairman of the Sudbury Town Team, said: “The resounding opposition to charging for the first three hours of car parking is overwhelming.
“There has been a very clear response and we hope that this message will get through to Babergh District Council of the immense damage that this would cause.”
The move to end free parking in Sudbury and Hadleigh is being considered by the Conservative Group of Babergh district councillors.
Shoppers comments on ending free parking were received by local websites See and Do Sudbury and the Best of Sudbury as well as newspapers.
Ms Bawden said: “Businesses in the town need a stable future to allow for growth and investment and anything that holds back or damages the town can hardly be in the interests of the local authority. Jobs and the wellbeing of the population are reliant on a thriving town centre. We hope that strong support for the campaign, to resist the possible changes to charging, will ensure that changes are avoided and that a long-term commitment to the town centre will be received from Babergh District Council.”
Shoppers said they opposed any charges for parking being put in place in Sudbury and confirmed they will be less inclined to use the town if there is no long three hours free parking.
Added Ms Bawden: “Some of those responding mention the fact that since they have moved to Sudbury they have seen what the introduction of car parking charges have done to other towns.
“Predictably, people then went to the bigger towns nearby which had more to offer, and their local small town centre died.
“Nobody wants to see this happen to Sudbury, and people have made the point that local Babergh councillors should listen to the views of local people.”
She said shoppers who live outside Sudbury, but decide to shop and spend leisure time in Sudbury, do so because they think it is ‘a lovely town’ which covers all their needs.
“What makes it popular is the fact that it is easy to pop in and park for free. Shoppers who have left comments said that they are actively put off going to Colchester, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds because of the cost of parking.”
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