King’s Lynn community forum calls for new residents’ parking zone

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Part of a Lynn car park should be set aside for residents’ use when measures to end free quayside parking come into force, according to a town community group.

Charges and permits will be introduced to the South Quay in the new year in a move that officials hope will attract more customers to nearby businesses.

But members of the St Margaret and St Nicholas ward community forum say residents will lose out unless action is taken to ease parking restrictions on them.

And council officials yesterday said they would look at the group’s concerns.

Following a meeting on Thursday, the group is now calling for part of the Boal Quay car park to be set aside for residents’ use, which they would pay for.

Its chairman, Dr Julian Litten said: “Within the ward parking is severely limited. Few houses have any space for cars, let alone garages, and so people are forced to park on the street – if they can.

“In the Friars, where there is barely room for a vehicle outside the house, residents have to compete with shoppers and visitors to the town who put their vehicles there to avoid charges on the car parks.

“Ideal, of course, would be the provision of a modest multi-storey car park, but we doubt this would ever be possible.”

Dr Litten said the impending problems for residents had been made worse by the lack of parking permits offered by Norfolk County Council within the new restrictions, which are due to come into force in late January.

He also claimed the impact on householders of events being held on the quayside had been overlooked.

He said: “We who live here do not oppose all this activity but there is no acknowledgement that residents must, necessarily, be inconvenienced to an extent.

“Nor is any allowance made for our good will – and the upkeep of our properties which makes the riverside and the Friars so special.”

And, with council chiefs developing plans for a wider regeneration of the waterfront area, the forum has asked to be involved in the process from an early stage.

Dr Litten said: “This going to be a flagship scheme, covering some the most important and historic parts of the town.

“The council is to employ an architect-led professional team and it is imperative that the very best is chosen – with a budget to match.”

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said yesterday: “When it comes to parking, it’s always a challenge to strike the right balance between residents’ needs, supporting the town’s local businesses and reinvigorating the economy.

“The forum has suggested a number of constructive ideas which are worth considering as we continue work with the borough council to look at ways of addressing the parking pressures in Lynn.”

Meanwhile, a separate parking permits system for the Waterloo Street area of the town will come into force later this week. The system was proposed as part of the regeneration of the bus station.