Council to stop people 'abusing' free parking with new trial

A time limit could be introduced at Queen's Square Car Park in Attleborough to boost trade in the to

A time limit on free parking will be introduced at Queen's Square car park in Attleborough in March 2022 - Credit: Archant

A council is aiming to clamp down on people "abusing" free parking by introducing a new time limit. 

Drivers using the Queen's Square car park in Attleborough will be limited to three hours of free parking as part of a new trial. 

Council leaders say the changes will increase high street footfall and boost trade for local retailers by creating more space for shoppers.

Changes to the parking rules are set to come into force on March 21 and will last six months in order to examine the impact upon local businesses.

Cllr Paul Hewett, Breckland's executive member for property and projects, said: “Working with the town council, we are now in the position to implement a six-month trial at Queen's Square car park.

"Breckland Council, and our partners, are fully committed to working on a range of innovative projects  as part of our corporate plan which will support our towns like Attleborough, to thrive and prosper in a post-pandemic society.”

The trial will see a three-hour time limit, with no return within one hour imposed between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday.

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Allowances will be made for the market traders using the marked market trader bays on Thursdays.

Any driver can currently use the car park free of charge for an unlimited time. 

Council leaders say the system has been "abused" by people leaving cars for days and also by Norwich commuters using the car park before travelling on trains and buses to the city.

This means spaces in the car park are taking by people who are "ignoring the shops and facilities in town".

A similar scheme trialled in Swaffham in 2019 reportedly increased footfall in the market town.

At the end of the trial, the impact of the enforcement will be reviewed, and a final decision will then be made on whether to make the changes permanent.