West Suffolk Council temporarily suspends all car parking charges amid coronavirus
Parking charges in all West Suffolk Council car parks and on the street are being temporarily suspended to support key workers and community volunteers amid the current coronavirus crisis.
The move aims to help with the delivery of essential goods for the most vulnerable in town centres by community volunteers and organisations.
It also plans to ease parking for those working from home or in residential parking zones, as they will be able to use the car parks and reduce parking on streets in congested areas.
It is hoped this will allow emergency and essential services such as police, fire, ambulances and bin lorries to get through.
The temporary suspension of charges will be kept under a rolling review and includes both on street and off street parking.
While it will take until early next week to cover all machines and make changes to RingGo, the council will stop parking enforcement for all but dangerous parking with immediate effect.
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We are continually reviewing what we can do to help our residents, businesses and partners through this difficult time.
"Key workers, such as NHS staff, who are working long and unusual hours need our car parks to get to and from work to perform their vital role or get essential shopping.
"The move will also help over the coming weeks to support community volunteers who may be out distributing food and medicines to people in need.
"Alongside this, we now have many town centre residents at home during the day and in resident’s parking zones.
"We recognise, in certain locations such as Bury St Edmunds town centre, some roads are difficult to get down with the number of vehicles parked.
"The temporary postponement will ease this and help emergency services vehicles and our own bin collection crews to get through.
"It will also enable us to redeploy staff to other elements of the Council’s work in supporting residents and businesses at this critical time for us all.
"We will still need to manage and pay the costs of car parks, but we feel it is right to support our communities in these unprecedented times through the immediate suspension of charges in all of our car parks.