New parking restrictions for town ‘used as a park and ride’
A town is to get new car parking restrictions after complaints it was being used as a 'park and ride' for Norwich.
Breckland Council has faced complaints about people using Attleborough's free car parks to catch buses into Norwich for the past year.
Vanessa Waters, who lives in Great Ellingham, spoke to this newspaper in June and said: "It's a problem when these people are filling up the car park all day and obviously not supporting the local shops. They're treating the town like a park and ride."
But now, Breckland has announced time limits will be introduced to the Queens Square car park from Monday, September 16, which will limit visitors to two hours of free parking with drivers required to display a ticket.
READ MORE: Calls to end free parking in Norfolk town as £4.5m traffic overhaul continuesThe limits will be in place from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, on a six-month trial basis, with those caught staying longer than the maximum time fined.
A similar trial is already in place in Swaffham, and Breckland Council said it hoped the changes would make more spaces available in the town, providing a boost to local shops and cafes.
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But some people are concerned the tight restrictions will cause problems for those who volunteer in Attleborough.
Kate Davies, manager at the Break shop on Church Street, said the move was short-sighted and called for the council to extend the maximum time.
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She said: "If someone wants to come into town to do a bit of shopping or meet a friend for lunch then two hours is cutting it fine. I am also concerned that folks who volunteer for me and for all the other charity shops normally work a three-hour shift, so they give their time for free, but are now going to be faced with parking charges."
However Breckland Council is confident the restrictions will encourage more spending in the town, and said there had been a "significant increase" in shoppers using free car parks in Swaffham since it rolled out the sister scheme.
Breckland councillor Paul Hewett said: "We agreed to introduce time limits at these car parks in a bid to release spaces throughout the day and encourage more people to visit and shop in the town."