High parking charges have been cited as the reason a children’s wear shop that won an award just six months ago has been forced to close.
Nino’s Children’s Wear in Abbeygate Street was awarded best dressed window in December, just two months after opening.
However despite initial success owners Fred and Claire Gross have been forced to announce its closure.
Fred said: “People are coming into the town and doing the bare essentials and then going because they do not want to spend any more or not coming to the town full stop.”
Claire said that the majority of the shop’s customers were rushing to return to their cars.
She said: “Independent shops are all finding it really tough. We are all saying the same thing - the major issue is parking. It’s just so expensive.”
Parking prices on Angel Hill were increased by Suffolk County Council last month.
It costs £1.50 for 30 minutes, £2.20 for an hour and £3.50 for two hours.
Suzanne Cooper, owner of The Parsley Pot, in Abbeygate Street, said customers had complained about the price of parking on Angel Hill.
Richard Bird, owner of Street Level cafe, also in Abbeygate Street, said: “I have seen a marked deterioration in trade since the increases to parking charges in Angel Hill.”
Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds, said: “I’m not surprised this is the view of those businesses in that area. I have made my view very clear to the county council regarding what I believe are excessive charges to park on Angel Hill.”
A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council said: “Angel Hill is some of the prime car parking in the town and is vital for the businesses in that area.
“However it would not be appropriate for it to be used for long stay parking as most of the businesses have stated that they rely on a turnover of space which would diminish if longer stays were encouraged.
The charges are set to deter long stay use.”