Trader voices fears about dropping footfall in Downham Market

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A trader has expressed concerns about the number of shoppers using Downham.

Peter Martin, who runs Spoilt for Choice in Bridge Street, says footfall in the town has dropped.

Concerns have also been raised about the impact of the full car parks on the vitality of Downham during the annual town meeting.

Downham Town Council has commissioned a survey, which has shown that the car parks are at capacity and suggests a form of charging. No decision has been made.

Speaking at the meeting on Thursday last week Mr Martin said: “The footfall in Downham has dropped dramatically.

“Today (April 9), the kids are off school and I stood in Bridge Street with a councillor and no-one was walking down Bridge Street. The town should not be like that.

“If we lose shoppers it takes a long while to get them to come back.”

Another member of the audience stated that the town was slowly dying as the car parks were full.

Calls to hold a referendum on the car parks were also made during the meeting.

Rebecca Elliot, a town centre resident, put forward a suggestion about enforcement in the car parks.

She said: “Would the town council consider a six-month pilot scheme whereby you employ someone to see what impact that has on movement in the car parks.”

Another resident, Sue Welfare, suggested utilising vacant land in the town for car parking.

Town councillor Pam Sharp added that a reduced bus service was also having an impact.

Mayor John Doyle said the town council had already increased the car parking spaces by 50 per cent.