Views on quay car park charges sought in consultation

Beccles Quay on Bank Holiday Monday. photo: James Carr

Beccles Quay on Bank Holiday Monday. photo: James Carr - Credit: Archant

Drivers will be forced to pay to use Beccles Quay car park when a charity’s plans are put into action.

Beccles Quay on Bank Holiday Monday. photo: James Carr.

Beccles Quay on Bank Holiday Monday. photo: James Carr. - Credit: Archant

Beccles Fenland Charity Trust will take over the operation of the quay in October, and plan to start investing in the area to improve it for locals and visitors using funds raised from the introduction of charges.

A consultation is currently taking place, with residents being asked by Beccles Town Council, who own the trust, how much they would be willing to pay for parking.

Questions on the consultation include whether people will stop using the car park when the trust introduces charging; should there be an initial free parking period for casual visits and for how long; how many hours should be chargeable; and how much should be charged per hour following any initial free period.

Other questions cover weekly or monthly permits and paying for parking by credit or debit card.

Beccles mayor, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, said the charges are being introduced to help pay for improvements to the area, including play area and moorings.

She said: “The Fenland Charity Trust has taken over the quay area from Waveney District Council. It’s suffered from massive lack of investment and at the moment it just about breaks even according to the books that we have been given.

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“This means we need to work out how we fund it. A good way to do that is with parking.”

She added: “We don’t want to stop people walking their dogs or stopping tourists visiting, we would prefer people to use it as all day parking.”

Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw added the decision to charge has already been made, but the consultation aims to discover how much people are willing to pay, and she said it would be listened to.

She said: “It would create significant income for the trust and all money will be reinvested into the quay, such as the mooring, the toilets, and the play equipment.

“We are looking at all these options, but it is highly likely that the moorings will come first.

She added: “We want as much guidance as possible from the general public because we want it to work and we want people to keep using the quay and for it to be financially sustainable.

“If it is not, that is not good for the residents of Beccles.”

Details on how to take part in the consultation are available on the Beccles Town Council website.