Cars displaced by a new cycle route in Bury St Edmunds will soon be prevented from parking on nearby pavements under measures being discussed by police and council workers.
Staff at EMG Motor Group had, for years, parked in Malthouse Lane, behind EMG’s car showrooms in Fornham Road.
But access to the lane, formerly a byway open to all traffic, was blocked when a cycle route was created as part of a £1.5 million taxpayer-funded cycle bridge installation over the A14 earlier this year.
Karen Kenny, of EMG, which objected to the scheme, said: “Due to removal of this long-established parking area, our staff have had no option but to find alternative parking in the locale.”
Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer said residents had complained about ‘a number of people pavement parking’ in Fornham Road near to and under the bridge and the county council intended to act ‘quite speedily’ to resolve the problem, by installing bollards.
Ms Kenny said: “The area immediately across from our dealership on Fornham Road has no parking restrictions and its use does not block any pavements. Indeed, outside business hours, the residents themselves make use of this area.
“Whilst we do empathise with the local residents and encourage all staff to be considerate when parking, there is unfortunately a need for this public space to be shared by all in the area.”
Sgt Alistair Torkington, from Bury Central Safer Neighbourhood Team, said police were aware of the parking problems and had issued some drivers with tickets.
He said: “We are working with Suffolk County Council to find a long-term sustainable solution to the issue. We have issued tickets to those parking irresponsibly and will continue to provide enforcement in the area.”
A council spokesman said discussions were taking place over what ‘physical obstruction’ would work best, but funding had been identified.
He said: “We do recognise that the people parking there were previously parking in the byway, but the decision to prevent motor vehicles going on that byway was part of creating the bridge. That’s been debated fully and the decision’s been made - the bridge has been built and it’s all done and dusted.”
He added: “We’d be happy to talk to and work with EMG to look at alternatives for them. The thing is, ultimately, it’s not appropriate for people to park on the footpaths.”