Having temporarily suspended payments across all its car parks, East Suffolk Council will now re-introduce charging, with effect from Monday 25 May.
In making this decision, the council has listened to advice from the British Parking Association which considers that prolonged ‘free’ parking is more likely to create additional traffic in popular, tourism areas which can impact on social distancing.
The charging ‘tariffs’ will remain at 2019-20 prices for the time being. Prior to the introduction of lockdown measures, East Suffolk Council was considering consultation responses for a revised parking strategy and tariff structure. Given that these comments are still being considered, any new structure will now be delayed.
Combined with new responsibilities to manage ‘on street’ parking, the council will be in a much better position to manage demand and the need to ensure adequate distancing in our towns and destinations. Additional signage will also be installed to remind people of the responsibilities they have for their health and wellbeing and of other car park users when they are using our facilities.
Cllr Norman Brooks, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The suspension of car park charges was intended only as a temporary measure and charging is an absolutely critical part of our ability to maintain facilities which are hugely important for our communities.
“With more people now travelling, whilst we cannot prevent this, we can at least make decisions which may help East Suffolk’s towns and destinations to manage the number of people who visit, to support ongoing social distancing measures.”