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Babergh and Mid Suffolk parking survey branded 'incompetent and useless' by Sudbury resident and town councillor

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A survey to help determine how parking will look across two districts has been branded “incompetent and useless".

The stinging criticism came from Sudbury resident and independent town councillor Steve Hall, who said the survey 'discriminates' against a portion of people living in the town.

The Parking Strategy survey by Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils asks people to fill in a questionnaire to help identify parking demand and supply across the two districts for the next five to ten years.

Town centre Sudbury. Picture by Mecha Morton
Town centre Sudbury. Picture by Mecha Morton

But Mr Hall said some residents living in the Sudbury town centre area cannot get beyond question three, which asks: ‘where do you currently park your vehicle at the following times: Monday to Friday during the day, Monday to Friday after 5pm, and weekends?’.

Respondents are then given the choice of: ‘on the road, on my drive, in a garage, in a marked disabled bay, in an allocated parking space, my vehicle is normally at work, or I do not have a vehicle’.

“For residents living in the centre of Sudbury, or around the ring road, me being one, I have to park mine in council car parks or as overspill on neighbouring roads, which are often full,” said Mr Hall.

Steve Hall says Sudbury residents are being 'discriminated against'. Picture by Mecha Morton
Steve Hall says Sudbury residents are being 'discriminated against'. Picture by Mecha Morton

“None of the options cover these, which affects a large proportion of residents, so it hardly gives a true picture of parking in the town - and is ignorant for this reason.

“To make matters worse, because we cannot answer this question, we can’t then go on to the next so the survey is incompetent - and useless.”

The survey was launched at the beginning of this month. It was withdrawn after only a few days, however, due to ‘technical difficulties’.

A Babergh District Council spokesperson, said: “We are keen for businesses, residents and visitors to have their chance to share their experiences of parking in Babergh, to help us shape our long term joint parking strategy with Mid Suffolk for the next decade.

Babergh parking survey Question three
Babergh parking survey Question three

“We are, of course, aware of the frustrations of residents – and that is exactly why we are trying to capture their experiences as part of this process – particularly, where they feel they have no option but to use council car parks for residential parking, as this is clearly part of the wider problem of council car parks not being used in the way they are intended.

“In this particular example, residents could select ‘in an allocated car parking space’ and then use the open comments section to provide further information.

“Ironically, it’s exactly these sort of issues that the new parking strategy is looking to address – through improved use of residents’ parking schemes, alongside parking provision for workers, visitors and shoppers.

"We’ve already received nearly 1,000 responses so far, however, anyone who is struggling with the consultation can find more information on our website at or call 02392 432756 for support.”

The spokesperson also pointed out Question three is not mandatory (marked with an asterisk).

The spokesperson added: "Should anyone choose to not answer Question three, they can still go on to complete the rest of the survey.

"So long as the survey is submitted at the end it will be considered a complete response."

"The questionnaire is only part of the wider consultation piece taking place over the coming year to help shape the strategy."

You can find the survey, here

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