A new Joint Area Parking Management Plan (JAPMP) which sets out the blueprint policies for parking across Babergh and Mid Suffolk – is set to be considered by councillors next month.
Next month, cabinets at Mid Suffolk District Council (10 February) and Babergh District Council (11 February) will consider their Joint Area Parking Plan, aimed at setting out the key policies to support sustainable parking across the districts.
The plan provides a toolkit to enable the councils to support communities by allowing parking where possible, and controlling it where necessary.
Under the Suffolk County Council Parking Management Strategy, and as part of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) powers transferring the districts from April this year, both councils are required to have a parking policy in place.
The aim of the plan is to support economic growth, reduce emissions to support a healthy environment as well as improve road safety, security and health to improve the quality of life for residents by:
· Engaging with and building community capacity
· Supporting community-led solutions to deliver services
· Enabling businesses to thrive
· Developing the local economy of our market towns to prosper
· Maximising use of councils assets and finances sustainably
The plan is not a blueprint to introduce paid parking, nor does it set out parking arrangements for specific areas.
As part of this work, the councils have also signed up to the Positive Parking Agenda, supported by the British Parking Association, aimed at improving the parking experience for all, while changing and challenging misconceptions about the parking sector, as well as its role in local government.
Councillor Jessica Fleming, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said:
“I’m pleased to see this new plan come forward to cabinet for approval – our aim is to improve parking for all our residents, bringing other benefits such as road safety, while also engaging better with our residents about parking to provide community-led solutions.
“Obviously, with the introduction of CPE we also hope to crackdown on the few individuals responsible for inconsiderate or unlawful parking in our towns and villages.
“We know too well the issues caused by poor parking, with our waste crews often experiencing delays due to inconsiderate motorists, leading to avoidable travel for our trucks and inconvenience for our taxpayer – and if approved by cabinet, this plan will play a key role in tackling this issue for everybody.”
Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Elisabeth Malvisi, said:
“Good parking should be a positive thing and that’s exactly what we’re trying to achieve through this plan for our communities. We want to cut down on inconsiderate and illegal parking which can see frustrated motorists driving dangerously– in turn improving road safety and creating a sustainable environment for our residents, to keep our towns and villages from moving.
“There’s already exciting things in the pipeline to improve transport networks in the district, with the planned relocation of the Hamilton Road bus station to an on-street facility and the redesign of Market Hill as part of our vision for Sudbury revealed this week, as well as the introduction of CPE.
“If approved, this plan will enable us to work with our communities to have closer management of local parking challenges, whilst supporting safer parking for everyone in Babergh – the place we’re proud to call home.”
The proposed JAPMP has been brought forward for approval, following a consultation last year, with the comments received contributing to the modified plan now ready for adoption.
If approved, the parking policies will be reviewed as required over coming years to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the districts and their communities. This includes reviewing car park tariffs, with Babergh having recently proposed a small increase to their long-stay car parking charges as part of their 2020/21 budget.