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Parking charges won’t be brought in on town high street, meeting decides

PUBLISHED: 11:03 26 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:36 27 January 2020

Brandon Town Councillor Gary Brocklehurst wants more car parking spaces in the town. Photo: Emily Thomson

Brandon Town Councillor Gary Brocklehurst wants more car parking spaces in the town. Photo: Emily Thomson

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A town has won its battle against parking charges on its high street, but a councillor says he is “bitterly disappointed” that demands for more spaces have not moved forward.

Brandon Town Councillor Gary Brocklehurst, with Clark Whiteman and West Suffolk Councillor Victor Lukaniuk. Photo: Emily ThomsonBrandon Town Councillor Gary Brocklehurst, with Clark Whiteman and West Suffolk Councillor Victor Lukaniuk. Photo: Emily Thomson

Brandon town councillor Gary Brocklehurst said "it's the best we are going to get" after a West Suffolk Council meeting decided that car parking charges will not be introduced on its high street.

With limited parking and no active traffic warden in the town, cars have been free to park wherever they like, which has caused controversy among the community and a debate over bringing in charges.

Mr Brocklehurst has been at the forefront of the fight against charges being brought in, which some have said would be the nail in the coffin for a town which has sometimes struggled to draw people in.

And at a meeting of West Suffolk Council's overview and scrutiny committee on Thursday, January 23, it was suggested that a designated long stay and short stay car parking could be introduced at two sites but that no parking charges would be brought in on the main high street.

Brandon Town Councillor Gary Brocklehurst wants more car parking spaces in the town. Photo: Emily ThomsonBrandon Town Councillor Gary Brocklehurst wants more car parking spaces in the town. Photo: Emily Thomson

But Mr Brocklehurst said he was disappointed that no more parking spaces would be created.

He said: "I wasn't very happy because they have not made any choices that would look at expanding car park situation.

"The decisions work for shoppers in the town and for business owners but there are still not enough parking spaces.

"I'm bitterly disappointed but it's the best we were going to get."

Parking issues in the town include people parking on double yellow lines and drivers parking in the same place all day.

But Mr Brocklehurst said a traffic warden was due to be in place by April and would crack down on the issues.

Clark Whiteman, a former town councillor and Brandon businessman, said: "It's a mess really and I think traffic wardens are definitely needed because it is chaos.

"But we need to create more parking so it frees up more spaces on the high street and people can come and support our businesses."

In the Thursday's meeting agenda, which was created by the West Suffolk Parking Review Group, it acknowledges that "there is a need for more parking provision and investment in Brandon".

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