Council invites car park feedback

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ST EDMUNDSBURY Borough Council has said it will examine feedback from disabled drivers after a discrepancy emerged in its off-street car park price increases due to come into force on April 2.

Disabled users, who are being charged to park for the first time, will be entitled to some discount in the short-stay car parks but will pay the same as other users in long-stay facilities.

In Bury St Edmunds’ Parkway surface, Parkway multi-storey and Ram Meadow car parks, blue badge holders will pay the same as other car park users for up to four hours – £1.70 – between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

However, they will not be expected to pay for parking in excess of that, for which other users will have to pay £2.20.

James Powell, from disability charity Optua, said: “We’ve known the council was planning to introduce charges for blue badge holders to park in their car parks and understood there were to be some concessions.

“However, it appears from the detail given that the charges are rather confusing for blue badge holders.

“We understand the intention is to offer blue badge holders one free hour for every hour’s parking they pay for, in recognition of the fact that people with mobility problems need longer to do their shopping.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We’re introducing the scheme as described in the notice (shown on page 18) and we will look for feedback from our blue badge customers in the multi-storey car park to see if it would be helpful to buy a two-hour ticket and get four hours time. If so, we will amend the scheme.”

She added that the other charges detailed in the notice would allow blue badge holders double the time specified, in line with the council’s policy.

The cost to anyone purchasing a season ticket for these car parks is to go up by £6 for passes valid Monday to Friday and by £7.20 for passes valid six days a week.