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Don't trial permit parking changes here!

PUBLISHED: 17:34 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 03 July 2010

FLIPPING the times covered by residents parking permits in Great Yarmouth should first be tried out elsewhere, according to a prominent Labour voice.

It emerged last week that councillors were considering introducing pay and display spaces in the parking zone and changing the permit hours to cover overnight.

FLIPPING the times covered by residents parking permits in Great Yarmouth should first be tried out elsewhere, according to a prominent Labour voice.

It emerged last week that councillors were considering introducing pay and display spaces in the parking zone and changing the permit hours to cover overnight.

A steady increase in charges for the permits was also proposed to compensate for a £62,000 shortfall in funding for the initiative.

In response, leader of the Labour group on the borough council, Mick Castle, has said that two other parking areas should be introduced to test out the proposals.

Mr Castle said: “If they wanted to trial their idea in these areas people would see if there was a potential benefit to them, and after a year they should be able to see if there was support for it.

“They would not be having their existing quality of life reduced and many would see even this as improvement on their current lot. It's the only way to test the Tories' untested proposition.”

Surrounding the current scheme, the zones would cover the seafront residential areas between St Peter's Road and the Pleasure Beach and up to Nottingham Way to the east of the river Yare.

The councillor suggested the whole permit area could cover up to 5,000 people, which with a small increase in charges would make up for the current shortfall.

However, he also suggested that lack of parking for visitors was less of an issue than some were making out.

“We've got more than 1,000 parking spaces - more than Bournemouth, which is a bigger place. I think it's been a succession of wet summers that has impacted on business and there has been a massive reduction in the number of visitors anyway over the last 20 years as people go abroad.”

The idea was rejected by chairman of the borough council's steering strategy group Graham Plant, who asked: “Is he trying to shut the town down?

“This business has been going on for two years and until we've got alternative car parking catering for visitors and nearby residents I can't see how it can be a reasonable proposal.”

He also disputed the assertion that that there was enough spare car parking in the area, saying that for up to 11 days a year during the summer there was none available whatsoever because of demand.

“We're still working through the problems of the first parking scheme and to extend it at this stage would be irresponsible. He is going for the votes and not what's good for Great Yarmouth- we've got to do what's right for the area and not just individuals.”

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