Charges hardly a deterrent

THE long-running opposition to the introduction of parking charges in Sudbury, for which you are the cheerleaders, is tedious and wrong-headed.

The maintenance and operation of those car parks is a cost which should logically be met by the users and beneficiaries of the facilities.

Instead, with free parking, the costs fall indiscriminately on local taxpayers, many or most of whom never use the car parks.

The objection that the introduction of charges would “kill” the town centre, because motorists would stop coming to Sudbury, is specious.

First, the fee of, say, a couple of pounds is hardly a serious deterrent.

Second, charges are already in common use in other local towns (except Hadleigh) and their town centres survive.

In fact, if free parking really were a serious advantage to the economy of Sudbury town centre, its continuation would be a clear case of “unfair competition” with all the other towns which do not provide that subsidy.

We all recognise that it is imperative for both central and local governments to reduce overall expenses and raise revenues.

Resistance to such a simple and reasonable cost-cutting measure as charging the users of car parks to cover running costs is surely perverse.