Business leaders have welcomed recommendations to introduce pay on exit ‘extensively’ in the larger car parks in Bury St Edmunds.
An independent report identifies the Parkway multi-storey car park and the Cattlemarket arc car parks as being ‘most suitable’ for the function due to their ‘high turnover’.
Council bosses say it is the ‘first small step’ in considering introducing such a facility.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of town centre improvement organisation ourburystedmunds, hailed the measures as providing ‘greater flexibility and choice’ for motorists to stay longer in the town which would boost trade and tourism.
He said: “Currently the whole town is pay and display and that means you have to predict how long you want to be in the town before you leave the car park. That doesn’t allow for anyone to change their mind and say ‘I want to stay longer’. We’re delighted this independent report supports the views of our businesses.”
Ourburystedmunds was among a group including the arc, Bury Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk County and St Edmundsbury Borough Councils which commissioned the report. They will now consult to establish the viability of introducing options in the report.
Written by parking technology expert Manny Rasores de Toro, it says: “We believe that Pay on Exit usining either barriers and tickets or Pay by Plate ANPR could be used extensively in all the larger car parks in Bury St Edmunds overcoming the traditional problems association with pay and display.”
Cllr Alaric Pugh, the borough’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “This report is the first, small step in considering a further substantial capital investment. The impacts have to be thoroughly understood before a viable plan can be developed which will be greatly helped by having the shared interest of the sponsoring group, although no time scales are being committed to at this stage.”