Swaffham mayor welcomes car park enforcement plans

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Community leaders have welcomed plans to enforce time limits in Swaffham’s car parks, even though they are unlikely to start for several months.

Earlier this week, Breckland Council announced it would trial the restrictions next year, two years after admitting it had “no plans” to enforce the existing rules.

The move follows initial discussions in recent months over the possibility of the town council taking over the management of the car parks from Breckland.

And town mayor Jill Skinner says her authority is grateful the district have listened to their concerns.

She said: “We are working with them and Norfolk County Council to tackle the pollution levels in the town. Ease of parking is just one of the issues raised.

“It is only looking by at the wider picture that we can hope for more improvements in the future.

“Car parking enforcement is a good start.”

The trial, which is expected to start around mid-2018, will see a maximum two-hour stay enforced at the car park in the Market Place, as well as the Peddars and Horse Pit sites.

Breckland officials say the measure is intended to address an inconsistency in the rules between on and off-street parking and reduce congestion.

Business leaders have repeatedly expressed concerns about a lack of capacity, which they say is worsened by drivers parking in the Market Place all day and travelling elsewhere to go to work.

Town clerk Richard Bishop said it was “unfortunate” that enforcement work would not start earlier, because of the need for a change in traffic management rules.

But he added: “Nevertheless it is a step in the right direction to prevent cars parking all day in the town centre. It will mean there is a greater turnover of cars and available spaces.”