Failure to address Downham Market’s parking problems will affect ‘viability’

Downham car park just behind Iceland that has recently become a pay and display. In the past this has been a free car park and was almost impossible to find a car parking space.. ANL-140513-085306009
Downham car park just behind Iceland that has recently become a pay and display. In the past this has been a free car park and was almost impossible to find a car parking space.. ANL-140513-085306009
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Downham will need nearly 40 extra parking spaces within the next five years, according to a traffic survey.

Inspectors from Alpha Parking have warned that failing to address the parking problems in Downham will affect the town’s future.

The team has also advised that some form of charging can only achieve the investment needed to meet the demand.

Downham Town Council called in the firm to review of the town’s car parks last year after receiving complaints about spaces being blocked.

The report states that the town’s car parks are either full or at 95 per cent capacity.

It states: “These usage levels indicate that the point has already been reached where action to increase capacity is required.

“In addition, it is not unreasonable to predict car parking demand in Downham will rise by approximately seven per cent to 10 per cent and forecasts indicate that the town council will need to provide between 26 and 37 extra off-street parking spaces over the next five years.

“It should be recognised that without significant capital investment, meeting the extra population and thus potential parking can only be achieved by some form of charging.

“It should be recognised that failure to address these issues will seriously impact on the town’s future viability and the quality of life for residents in the area.”

The report is due to be discussed at Thursday’s annual meeting in the town hall at 7pm.

Mayor John Doyle says no decision has been made with regards to the car parks

He said: “We have had people park in the town for three weeks and go on holiday.

“Car parking is controversial at the moment. It seems at times the car parks are clogged up and my personal opinion is that we have got to do something about the log jam.

“This is just a strategy. Before anything is done we would need a public meeting.”