120,000 drivers use free King’s Lynn parking spaces, council says

editorial image

More than 120,000 motorists used free 20-minute parking spaces in Lynn’s town centre during the last financial year, according to new figures.

West Norfolk Council chiefs have hailed the statistics for the Tuesday Market Place site, which were announced during the authority’s latest meeting on Thursday.

And the authority has announced that similar spaces will finally be introduced at two more sites in Lynn and one in Hunstanton over the next few weeks.

Currently, twenty-one out of the 210 available parking spaces in the Tuesday Market Place are set aside for drivers to park free for a maximum of 20 minutes.

A further three spaces offering the service are also available in the Saturday Market Place.

David Pope, cabinet member for ICT, leisure and public space, told the meeting that 121,500 motorists had used the spaces, describing the figure as “absolutely fabulous”.

Officials subsequently confirmed that the figure, which equates to just over 330 vehicles per day, covered the 2014-15 financial year, which finished in early April.

But Mr Pope yesterday said initial indications for the current year suggested that pattern was being maintained.

And he admitted he initially did not believe the figures, following a slow start to the initiative.

He said: “I never dreamt it would be that many.”

Last September, the council announced plans to introduce additional 20-minute bays at two other sites in Lynn and one in Hunstanton.

Three spaces are set to be provided in the Baker Lane and Austin Street car parks in Lynn respectively, with six planned for the Valentine Road site in Hunstanton.

Mr Pope said: “Before the end of July, the other three sites will be installing these bays.”

He said the work had been held up by issues including delays in securing the special meters which drivers have to get a ticket from to use the spaces and changes in where the free spaces will be positioned.

He said the position of the free bays at the Baker Lane site had only been finally determined the day before Thursday’s meeting, while there had been opposition to the plan to offer free spaces in Hunstanton.

But he believes the Lynn figures vindicate the decision to introduce the service.