Trader warning over Swaffham car park trial

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A proposed two-hour time limit on parking stays in Swaffham is too short and would negatively affect town businesses, a trader says.

Plans for a trial enforcement of time limits in three town centre car parks were announced by Breckland Council last week.

But, although the measure was initially welcomed by community leaders, concerns were raised during public question time at Momday’s town council meeting.

A letter calling for the limit to be extended to three hours was handed in to the meeting and will be passed to district council officials.

The letter, submitted by Jane Clark, said: “A three hour parking limit would be supported by businesses and those booking events, meetings and appointments in Swaffham as it gives clients and visitors time to be in Swaffham.

“If a two hour restriction is imposed it will have an effect on all businesses within and facilities around Swaffham.”

The plan to enforce a two-hour limit in the Market Place, is currently expected to come into force next May, once traffic regulations have been amended to allow it.

A similar trial in Attleborough, which has also been seeking reform of parking arrangements, is scheduled to be conducted first and begin early in the new year.

Both the town’s mayor, Jill Skinner, and town council clerk Richard Bishop welcomed the announcement of the trial ahead of the meeting.

But members were also told it is still unclear as to whether cameras or attendants would be employed to enforce the rules.

And Robert Bartrum, who has consistently called for the town council to take over the management of its car parks, suggested the time limits were a “delaying tactic” on the part of the district council.

He said: “Why can’t they just let Swaffham manage the car parks and go from there? I feel we’d do a better job.”

He added that he was opposed to a three hour time limit.