Proposals to introduce residents’ parking permits and car park fees has angered residents and traders in Hunstanton.
Norfolk County Council’s bid to create resident parking zones and pay-and-display areas on the streets near the seafront has sparked an angry protest from some quarters of the town.
The Lynn News took to the streets of Hunstanton to find out what people really think of the plan ahead of the consultation closure on Monday next week.
Drivers could be forced to pay to park on roads including Cliff Parade, Le Strange Terrace and St Edmund’s Terrace. Streets including St Edmund’s Avenue, Church Street, Greevegate and Seagate Road may be restricted to holders of new residents’ parking permits.
The vast majority of residents are opposed to paying an extra £40 a year to park a car on their road and some traders fear the loss of free parking could deter shoppers.
One woman, who did not wish to be named, said her disabled husband has been forced to wait for two hours on a double yellow line for holidaymakers to leave a space near their home.
Brian Devlin, who is a town councillor and lives in St Edmund’s Avenue, is opposed to the plan. He said there is not a parking problem near his home.
Mr Devlin said: “I have lived here for 45 years and I should imagine that I have had a problem on four occasions during peak summer time. If you look at the cars on places like Church Street they are owned by workers who can’t afford to pay the parking permit.
“The way forward is to look at the areas where there has always been a problem such as Hill Street, which is near the sea.”
Remona Giddings wants something done to stop tourists parking near her home in Seagate Road, but she is not supporting the idea of parking permits.
She said: “It can be a nightmare if we have visitors and they can’t park as strangers have come for the day.
“The visitors can get nasty. They sit in their cars and eat and then leave their litter behind in the gutter.”
Visitors Michael and Suzanne Barty sympathise with residents after experiencing problems with holidaymakers parking near their home in Chapel St Leonards, Skegness.
Mr Barty said: “We understand the difficulty for locals. People come for a week and think they own the place.
“I would definitely be willing to pay to park.”
Peter Watkinson lives in Church Street but rarely has any problems with parking near his home and is against the permit proposal.
He said: “They should leave things as they are in this street. We have got three cars here and that would cost £120 and when my family comes up from London they would have to pay.
“It is just a money-taking thing. It is another tax.”
Gerald Youngman lives in a flat overlooking Cliff Parade and would be unhappy if the pay-and-display plans would allow parking all day throughout the week.
He said: “I can understand the town going after more money but if the car parking was not as expensive as it is more people would use them.
“Visitors can be very inconsiderate when they do park here.”
David Boldero owns Norfolk Watch and Battery Company is against the parking charges.
He said: “I don’t want to see any more parking restrictions. Between November and March parking should be free to attract people into town.
“Town centres are dying on their feet all over the country and the last thing in the world we need is more restrictions on car parking.
“We have had a better year due to the weather but one good year out of three or four is not going to keep businesses running.”
Hunstanton Tackle owner Mick Cornell is also opposed to the plans.
He said: “I feel it will drive more visitors out of the town.
“The council car park was free three or four years ago and that should return.
“I would like to see a park and ride implemented. The congestion coming in and out of Hunstanton in the summer is ridiculous.”