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Bury St Edmunds review of residents parking zones to begin in next five months after concerns over number of tickets issued




A council is to begin a review of residents parking zones in Bury St Edmunds in the next five months following ongoing concerns about the number of parking tickets being issued.

West Suffolk Council took over civil parking enforcement (CPE) from the police in April and residents have highlighted an increase in fines since then.

Last month, Tracey Cundell, who lives in the Zone A parking area just outside the town centre, said the council had oversold permits for the number of spaces available so it was impossible for residents to not park on double yellow lines.

Residents in Peckham Street, pictured with Cllr Cliff Waterman last month, who are frustrated by issues with parking tickets. Picture by Mark Westley
Residents in Peckham Street, pictured with Cllr Cliff Waterman last month, who are frustrated by issues with parking tickets. Picture by Mark Westley

The council says it 'doesn’t have the authority to refuse applications (for permits) even though some areas are heavily oversubscribed' but it does 'warn people purchasing a permit that it cannot guarantee them a space'.

Cllr Peter Stevens, cabinet member for operations at West Suffolk Council, said they were 'committed to starting a review' of all residents parking zones across the town by the end of the financial year 'now that the impact of CPE is better understood'.

Details of the review are still being worked up but the council says it will engage with residents 'although this will have to be in line with any Covid-19 restrictions in place'.

Cllr Stevens said: “Residents parking is a real issue in Bury St Edmunds town centre, and we have every sympathy with residents.

"Many of the houses were built before people had cars and many more when the level of car ownership was much less than it is now.

"We simply have a limited supply of on-street parking bays and given these constraints, we will not be able to satisfy everyone’s requirements for convenient on-street parking.

"It is a complex issue and there’s no easy or quick solution.

"We can’t pick and choose what parking regulations we enforce.

"Civil parking enforcement was always going to both solve problems and throw up new challenges at the same time, and the issues we are currently seeing in Bury St Edmunds are among these challenges."

He added: "Alongside this sits the wider societal issue of how we and our partners at Suffolk County Council, address traffic congestion, pollution, and encourage residents wherever possible to travel by other means including walking and cycling where appropriate."

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