Call for zone parking

PUBLISHED: 11:10 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:58 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

A SUGGESTION to scrap Great Yarmouth's residents parking scheme during the day to allow tourists to park has been criticised by the leader of the Labour group.

A SUGGESTION to scrap Great Yarmouth's residents parking scheme during the day to allow tourists to park has been criticised by the leader of the Labour group.

Mick Castle hit out at the idea, mooted during a tourist authority meeting, saying residents should not be forced to give up their paid-for parking space to allow holidaymakers to nip in for free.

And instead, the Labour group

has announced its support for additional parking zones - one operating in residential areas close to the town centre and another on

the Barrack Estate.

However, despite seemingly strong support from local people following a survey carried out by Labour councillors, Tory councillor and chairman of the council's car parking steering group, Graham Plant, said there were no plans to extend the residents' parking area because the council simply couldn't afford it.

Last year the parking zone didn't prove to be self-financing, with Norfolk County Council footing a bill of around £29,000 for the borough council-administered scheme.

Mr Plant said its workings would need to be examined and a possible solution would be increasing permit rates from £25 to £42.

“Residents would still be paying under a pound a week to park outside their homes. It is still cheap as far as I'm concerned,” said Mr Plant.

Meanwhile, Mr Castle warned that the borough council must tackle parking issues head-on if it is to increase its revenue.

Referring to the impending takeover of parking enforcement next April following its decriminalisation, Mr Castle said the council needed to be one step ahead.

He said: “Everyone knows there is only one warden covering the borough. At the moment parking is an absolute nightmare. There are lots of other things like getting better use of the borough council's car parks. We need a small group that has time to investigate these issues and report back to the car parking steering group.”

Referring to the suggested scrapping of the scheme, an angry Mr Castle said residents living in the area covered by zone A wouldn't be keen to give up their parking rights.

“What a cheek,” he said. “Hoteliers in the area have parking permits and I'm sure they are grateful for it.

“We have thousands of parking spaces, both on and near the seafront and town centre parking areas, and I'm sad to say these are often less than half full, partly due to a run of wet summers.”

Mr Castle said it was vital the scheme - which operates in the area bordered by St Nicholas/Euston Road, Marine Parade, St Peters Road and Alexandra Road - was kept to protect the quality of life for local residents.

“People in Yarmouth are proud of their town as a top holiday resort but they expect fair treatment,” he said.

Mr Plant added: “What we are doing is looking at car parking at the Marina Centre and other seafront car parks to give them a more short-stay feel to move people towards the long-stay car parks at Beach Coach Station and St Nicholas'.”

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