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Newmarket residents will get chance to air views on parking

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Residents are to work with town councillors to come up with a policy aimed at the establishment of parking zones across the town.

A number of residents tuned in to Monday’s virtual meeting of the town council to voice their anger and frustration at the recently introduced civil parking enforcement that has seen many of them fined for parking outside their homes when there was no affordable alternative available.

Resident John Harvey told the meeting that around 100 residents in All Saints’ Road had been affected and the new regulations meant there was now no on-street parking between 8am and 6pm.

All Saints Road, Newmarket Picture by Mark Westley.
All Saints Road, Newmarket Picture by Mark Westley.

He said there were some ‘pocket car parks’ but they only provided 68 spaces and there was already a waiting list. “This situation is unacceptable. West Suffolk Council has to provide short term remedies and longer term solutions.”

Craig Warren said he had started a petition for the introduction of parking zones and Alison Beighton said: “We want to establish parking zones where people could park their car in the street where they live.”

A brief from Mark Walsh, West Suffolk Council’s assistant director of operations, suggested that it could take up to two years to implement parking zones but resident Douglas Hall said that was a nonsense considering how quickly the public had seen councils act during the coronavirus pandemic.

All Saints Road, Newmarket Picture by Mark Westley.
All Saints Road, Newmarket Picture by Mark Westley.

He said there had been a ‘colossal failure’ by councils to get things done with regard to residents’ parking and that Newmarket residents could buy a season ticket for a car park for £250 a year while in Cambridge the cost for residents was just £62 a year.

Cllr Andy Appleby said it was 16 years since the district authority had abolished free parking in the town and since then a ‘perfect storm’ had been gathering.

“This all need to be considered holistically,” he said.

Cllr Rachel Hood said: “Time is of the essence. It is very clear to us who are new West Suffolk councillors that we need to sort this out quickly.”

It was agreed that Cllr Chris O’Neill arrange a meeting of residents and councillors to discuss the parking issues and report back to the next full meeting of the town council later this month.