Autumn start date for Quay parking charges

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Proposals to introduce parking charges on Lynn’s South Quay are likely to come into force this autumn, it was revealed yesterday.

The plan, which would allow drivers to park free for an hour before a pay and display system comes into force, was initially approved in May last year.

But implementing the new rules was delayed by what Norfolk County Council officials described as “technical problems”.

However, a spokesman for the authority said yesterday: “Work to make the changes needed to bring in the new permit parking and pay and display scheme, including installing pay and display machines, is due to start in August.

“We envisage the new parking arrangements will come into effect during the autumn.”

She said an amendment had been made to limit the amount of time vehicles could use loading bays on King’s Staithe Square to a maximum of 20 minutes, following a request from West Norfolk Council.

The new regulation is also intended to prevent vehicles using the bays from returning within one hour.

But she said that the rules were otherwise unchanged from those previously approved.

The scheme also allows for the introduction of residents’ parking permits in the area, though it is unclear when and how that part of the plan will be brought into force.

West Norfolk Council had not commented on the plan as the Lynn News went to press yesterday.

Officials have previously argued that introducing charges will help nearby businesses by reducing congestion caused by drivers seeking to use any of the currently free spaces.

At the time the proposals were approved, they claimed that most of the opposition to them had come from areas which were not directly affected by them.

The news comes just a week after West Norfolk Council’s cabinet approved plans to spend £100,000 on “viability” work on ideas for regenerating the South Quay during the current financial year.

It emerged in April that a preliminary agreement had been reached with McCarthy and Stone over a sale of the old grain silo site on the quay to the borough council.

The authority’s deputy leader, Alistair Beales, said: “The council is making a real statement of intent to bring it to what it should be.”

Earlier this week, plans to stage a major water-skiing event on the River Great Ouse for the first time this August were announced.

And Mr Beales believes that finding ways of better utilising an area he described as “an underused jewel” during last Wednesday’s cabinet meeting would provide a major boost to the town’s economy.

He admitted that developing the area remained an “ambition” for the authority and that some potential schemes would be long-term aspirations.

But he added: “There’s plenty of European examples where towns have turned back towards the water and I think that’s the right thing to do.”