Councillor suggests multi-storey car park could ease shortage of parking in Sudbury as review moves forward
A Great Cornard councillor has urged the public to stay open-minded when considering effective solutions that could resolve existing parking problems in two of the district’s key market towns.
Last week, Conservative councillor Peter Beer put forward a motion which requested that Babergh District Council conducts a thorough review of parking in Sudbury and Hadleigh.
Having received cross-party support, the council’s cabinet will discuss how it will assess parking across the whole district, before presenting its decision to full council.
Reflecting on his personal experience of parking in Sudbury, Cllr Beer said increased congestion had made the matter worse.
“It’s been chaotic at times to park,” he said. “The amount of daily traffic doesn’t help the situation either.”
Cllr Beer attributed a lack of parking enforcement in the town to the high number of drivers who have repeatedly flouted the rules.
“At the moment, there isn’t anyone to enforce parking, apart from the police, and they’re already stretched,” he said.
The town centre provides an hour’s free parking on Market Hill, which Cllr Beer said was frequently defied by drivers.
“I have seen vehicles that have been there longer than one hour, so that’s obviously a problem,” he said.
Should the review highlight a need to increase the amount of parking, he said a multi-storey car park in Sudbury could help to ease the shortage.
“It doesn’t have to be five or six storeys high; we could have quite a low multi-storey that could do the trick,” he said.
Encouraging the public to play an active role in the review, he added: “I think they need to look at it with an open mind – nothing is ruled in and nothing is ruled out.”
Following an accepted amendment to the proposed plans, Green group leader Robert Lindsay has requested that any review incorporates measures that would encourage greater use of public transport and bicycles.
Criticising the assumption that further parking facilities would be required, Cllr Lindsay said: “Driving and parking is a privilege not a right.
“It is wrong to assume that, because we have more houses being built in an area, we automatically have to provide more free parking in the centre of town.
“All this does is provide a subsidy and an encouragement to the act of driving.”
Following Suffolk County Council’s decision last year to pursue a £10 million scheme of junction improvements, Cllr Lindsay suggested spending it on improving public transport.
He said: “We should demand that money and use it as a seed fund for a proper, over-arching transport plan for greater Sudbury and Cornard to make it a cycling and walking town, putting walking, cycling and public transport before provision for more cars.”