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'Free from 3pm' scheme set to be scrapped in Bury St Edmunds if West Suffolk Council approves parking charges review plans

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A free parking scheme in Bury St Edmunds is set to be scrapped in April if a council approves changes to parking tariffs.

West Suffolk Council's parking review group has recommended that parking charges be hiked across the town in order to generate an additional income of more than £300,000.

Under the plans, which were released this afternoon, Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District's 'free from 3pm' scheme would also be scrapped.

Car park in ARC. (26817594)
Car park in ARC. (26817594)

Cllr David Nettleton, overview and scrutiny committee chairman, said the discontinuation of the scheme would save the council around £80,000.

"The 'free from 3pm' scheme doesn't draw any more people to the town," he said.

"We get fewer people on a Tuesday morning as a result so while there is more footfall in the afternoon, it doesn't actually make a difference."

The £1 evening charge would no longer apply under the new plans and the normal tariff would instead be extended to 8pm.

The group has also recommended that the Flexi Park scheme, which was trialled in St Andrews car park, be made permanent.

If approved by cabinet, the plans could also affect neighbouring towns, with Brandon's free parking to be replaced either by fees or free tickets and enforcement.