Having introduced new tariffs in all car parks from August 2020, East Suffolk Council has suffered a back lash from businesses already reeling from covid restrictions and from customers – especially the elderly – who appreciated the car parks where the first 30 minutes were free.
If you only want to pop to the shops for a couple of items you don’t really need to pay for a two hour slot – and now parking is impossible in the centre of most towns for anybody due to the new pedestrianisation measures – it seemed foolish and detrimental to also do away with the free 30 minutes in the surrounding car parks.
Now the council have responded by reinstating and/or introducing 30 minutes free in 48 car parks across the district – including most of Felixstowe’s main car parks.
ES Council’s justification for the change of policy is that ‘issues created by the virus have affected parking behaviour ie some car parks which previously did not offer this particular tariff were in towns where it was agreed that a large number of ‘on street’ parking bays were sufficient and the car parks themselves could prioritise shoppers and visitors making longer visits.’
‘However, social distancing measures in towns have removed a number of these bays and because of this reduction in availability, the Council has decided to offer it more widely as part of its ‘off street’ car park provision.’
‘The Council also believes that the overall impacts of Covid-19 on high streets and businesses mean that extra steps should be taken to encourage more people to return and ‘shop local’.’
A decision to amend the tariffs was taken on 3 November and they will be introduced shortly.
Whatever the reason – this is welcome news for both businesses and consumers. The car parks with the free 30 mins in Felixstowe are:
Brackenbury Fort Clifflands Convalescent
Crescent Road Felixstowe Pier Highfield Road
Landguard Manor Terrace
Looking at this list Garrison Lane and Ranelagh Road seems to be the ones conspicuous by their absence – maybe the Council have overlooked them in the rush to bring this forward. Maybe someone should point this out – especially as Ranelagh Rd has got a set of public conveniences within its boundaries – and £1.50 to ‘spend a penny’ does seem a little excessive.