Locals react as council set to review parking in Beccles town centre

new market beccles

The planters which currently block off anyone parking up outside various businesses on New Market in Beccles. - Credit: Jasper King

Locals and businesses alike have been reacting with mixed views as Beccles Town Council is set to review parking arrangements in the town centre.

Planters were installed in New Market, Beccles, in 2020 to initially close the road to traffic and allow shoppers to safely socially distance, while encouraging them back into the town centre to support local businesses.

But the move was met with strong opposition from some in the town, with planters illegally removed to allow traffic back through for one day in October.

After a compromise was reached last year, the planters are now only in place on one side of the road, allowing some traffic to now park up.

The matter will be reviewed at a meeting of Beccles Town Council on Tuesday.

Craig Anderson, owner of Linen Press on New Market hopes the last remaining planters will now be taken away.

craig anderson

Craig Anderson, owner of Linen Press on New Market wants the council to take away the planters. - Credit: Jasper King

He said: "Initially when the whole section was shut off it was awful, the town felt dead and our sales dropped.

"So many customers complained about the parking when the road was entirely closed.

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"They wanted somewhere to pull up and go and they couldn't do this.

"It has improved now slightly but quite frankly the planters outside look a mess, most look broken and there are dead flowers. It hasn't helped the town at all.

"I'm hoping these planters will go for good now and that the council make the right decision."

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Bex Davies, from Sweeties at New Market in Beccles. - Credit: Nick Butcher Photography

But down the road at Sweeties, Bex Davies said the parking issues haven't affected them much.

She said: "It hasn't really affected us too much as a business.

"Obviously it was a different story when all the parking restrictions were in place but now people can park on the other side of the road.

"However, if the council do decide to get rid of the planters this may improve business for us because we are still relatively new."

new market planters

The original planters blocked off all traffic from New Market. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A local from the area out shopping who did not want to be named had parked down at Tesco but expressed the need for accessible parking post-pandemic.

They said: "I usually park at Tesco when I come to Beccles but have noticed the limited parking on New Gate put in place over the pandemic.

"I would have thought it is time that those restrictions are now removed.

"It is not good for local businesses, local people shopping in the town or those who may need to park in the town centre due to mobility issues."

Beccles Town Council will review the parking arrangements at a full council meeting on Tuesday, October 5 at 7pm.