Attention falls on Haverhill’s car parks

Potential changes to the way Haverhill car parks are tariffed and run will come under the spotlight at a St Edmundsbury Council cabinet meeting.

Cabinet will next week be asked to accept most recommendations about car parks throughout the borough put forward by the overview and scrutiny committee. They include getting an independent expert to look at a whether a pay-on-exit scheme would benefit some car park users.

The results of a detailed review were presented to overview and scrutiny members in September, with 17 recommendations covering charges in individual car parks in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill and a range of other issues.

A report to cabinet on Wednesday (December 12) suggests accepting 11 of the recommendations, accept three more with modifications and reject three.

Cllr Terry Clements, cabinet member responsible for transport and car parking, said:

“This is a phenomenal piece of work by Overview and Scrutiny members which looks to provide a fair deal for those who use our car parks.

“My thanks go to chairman Cllr David Nettleton and our staff for the detailed and wide-ranging research, surveys of users, engagement with businesses and carefully considered recommendations.

“I will be asking my cabinet colleagues to approve the vast majority of the results from this work because overall they make a great deal of sense.”

The recommendations include suggestions for alterations to car park prices, with some staying the same, some increasing but others to decrease, including the night charge, from April 2013.

And there’s a suggestion about free late afternoon parking one day a week in Bury and Haverhill.

There are also recommendations for covering better promotion and signs, regular reviews of car parking, parking permits and increasing use of the pay-by-phone service.

Cllr Clements said: “I’m really pleased that more people are using the RingGo service to pay for parking because it’s often easier than using cash.

“It’s also great that the survey found the huge majority of people using our car parks said they were satisfied with prices and locations, and also had enough time to do what they wanted in town.

“It’s a terrific endorsement of the way the borough looks after its car parks.”

If cabinet give the go-ahead then an independent feasibility study will be commissioned to investigate whether a pay on exit scheme would be suitable for one or more borough car parks, such as the surface one off Parkway in Bury, and Ehringshausen Way in Haverhill.