Having lived close to the South Quay for the past 27 years I have yet to experience the congestion caused by drivers seeking to use any of the currently free spaces (Lynn News, June 19, Autumn start for quay parking charges).
True there can be brief delay while one driver waits for another to leave a space but nothing more apart from the inevitable consequences of events such as the Hanse weekend.
I therefore question whether Norfolk County Council, situated 40 miles away across the county, is actually aware of the situation, and, dare I say it, instead looking for a convenient excuse to end the free parking.
Once again the needs of the people who live in the vicinity have been ignored– so much for localism. It doubtless will come as a surprise to officialdom and councillors that our Georgian and Victorian forefathers neglected to provide garaging and parking when they built the homes in the streets of what is now dubbed the Old Town, nonetheless that is the case. More recently, development after development in this area has been allowed without the requirement to make provision for residents’ vehicles.
The thinking is that those who live in town centres do not need cars as they have the advantage of abundant public transport.
When this scheme to end free parking on the quay was first mooted we did a survey to establish the needs for it. We checked the number of vehicles parked there at 10.30pm, they totalled 54. The following morning at 6am the number had risen to 58, the number plates confirming that all of the 54 parked on the previous evening were there the following morning.
The only conclusion can be that (local car) owners have no other place to park their vehicles and have to resort to the quay unless of course there are people so perverse that they drive from their homes in other areas of Lynn to occupy these parking slots. Possibly they wish to ensure that they have a parking place for use during the day when they are at work in the town centre.
Possibly they wish to ensure that they have a parking place for use during the day when they are at work in the town centre? I appreciate that a residents’ parking permit scheme has been included presumably along the lines of the original consultation whereby for £40 a year residents would be able to ‘share’ parking bays with other users. At that time the diagram delineating these bays showed there to be just 16. If this remains the case the number is woefully insufficient and, of course, there is no guarantee that there would be any guaranteed parking provision for the £40.
I am by no means opposed to having to pay for a residents’ permit, indeed I advocate such a system and accept that it would have to be set at rather more than £40, but surely that should entitle permit holders to a designated parking space, if not on the quay, in one of the borough car parks nearby? Cars are not going to go away and the need to make provision for them will grow unless public transport is to be improved to an unlimited extent.
The answer is a modestly-sized and well-designed multi storey car park as has been suggested by my neighbour Ken Hill and advocated by Roger May in an earlier edition of the Lynn News. This would allow a floor to be allocated to those with a residents’ parking permit and would be a tremendous boon to the denizens of the old town area, which extends to the Friars and London Road. As in so many other towns, residents would also be able to purchase one-off permits for visitors.
It is understandable that the growing number of waterfront businesses want a regular turnover of visitors to what is very much a tourism and heritage area. But they might take into account that people also live beside them and it is their well-maintained period homes, built without provision for vehicles, which is much of the basis of its charm and attraction.
Queen Street, Lynn