Newmarket residents in plea for parking scheme after being hit by fines
Frustrated residents who have been fined for parking outside their homes are calling on a council to introduce parking zones in Newmarket.
Householders in a number of town streets including All Saints’ Road, Queen Street and Vicarage Road have fallen foul of traffic wardens who have been enforcing parking rules across the town since Suffolk councils were give civil parking enforcement powers back in April.
Now they are asking West Suffolk Council to look at the issue of residents’ parking and some are expected to bring their concerns to tonight's meeting of Newmarket Town Council.
All Saints’ Road resident John Harvey said the current situation was ‘unacceptable’.
Although he welcomed long- awaited civil parking enforcement, which initially concentrated on dangerous parking, he said: “Residents are being hit with the treble whammy of enforcement on streets where historic parking restrictions do not appear to have been reviewed, where clearly they need to be, car park charges have been re-introduced and the All Saints’ car park is currently closed for re-surfacing.”
Mr Harvey called on all councils covering Newmarket to work together to ‘devise and implement a cohesive parking strategy that appropriately provides for all users, particularly long-suffering residents by optimising on-street and car park capacity rather than simply milking the cash cow by raising car park charges to generate income.
Calls for residents’ parking zones are not new and there have been expensive consultations in the past organised by highways authority, Suffolk County Council, into their introduction but not enough residents were supportive and no progress was made.
In a briefing note to Newmarket councillor Andy Drummond, which will be discussed by councillors at Monday’s meeting, Mark Walsh, West Suffolk Council’s assistant director (operations) said setting up parking zones for residents would be a relatively long and expensive process andcould take up to two years based on previous schemes and the level of local support.
“We plan to carry out a review of residents’ parking zones as soon as resources will allow but we will need to manage the expectations of our residents on this,” he said.
“Such a process will not be quick and may not be able to provide the outcome they seek given the demand and the limited available space on our streets.”
Town councillor Julie De’ath said the current situation was untenable. “It discrimates against the elderly, the disabled, families with young children, and residents of these areas in Newmarket that are being pushed to park in other streets away from their homes thereby compounding the problem,” she said.
Resident, Douglas Hall, added: “Unless you have experienced first hand the issues of not being able to park outside your own home and need to walk a long way back from your car after returning from a shopping trip or similar especially in winter or in bad weather, it’s hard to realise how intolerable that is for those who endure it on a regular basis, doubly so for those who are disabled or infirm.
“I would like to think that our town and district councillors could champion residents’ parking zones and actively be seen to be taking an interest publicly in the parking issues that plague residential streets in Newmarket and help resolve a very long standing issue.”
More by this authorAlison Hayes