On-street parking back as council makes pedestrianisation U-Turn

Newgate, Beccles

Newgate, Beccles - Credit: Nick Butcher

Town residents and visitors will soon be able to once again park in areas of the town pedestrianised last month after a U-turn by the council.

Beccles during the coronavirus lockdownByline: Sonya Duncan(C) Archant 2020

Beccles during the coronavirus lockdownByline: Sonya Duncan(C) Archant 2020 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

From Monday, June 15, temporary traffic measures were approved to ban vehicles in Beccles from using a portion of New Market and part of The Walk.

The plans had been created to enable socially-distanced shopping and were hoped to give the added benefit of encouraging more green travel.

But Beccles town council have now gone back on the decision after receiving feedback from dissatisfied shoppers as well as business owners.

In a statement the council said: “The working party that was set up to look at safety measures in Beccles town centre [...] has been constantly monitoring the initial measures that were implemented in the town centre on June 15.

“Since the implementation, the queues that were allowed for along the pavement outside the shops on The Walk have not materialised.

“A number of businesses in the town have contacted Beccles town council expressing their deep concerns regarding the reduction of free parking in the town centre due to the closure of these areas and the affect that this is having on their trade.”

READ MORE: Cars banned from town centre streets as shops reopen

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The working party has now agreed that the temporary barriers closing off car parking spaces “should be removed as soon as possible”, and a request has been put forward to Suffolk County Council’s Highways department.

Town clerk Claire Boyne explained that the barriers which closed off on street parking on The Walk would be removed “any day now”, but said the council would continue to experiment with New Market.

She said: “On New Market it was decided to implement an experimental traffic order, which means we will experiment measures trying them on the ground.

“They’re in place, and a formal consultation will be carried out by Suffolk Highways which everyone will be consulted on, and during the process things can be tweaked or if they are not working removed.

“This is all from feedback from businesses and us monitoring it on the ground to see how effective our plans were.”