Parking charges and fines to go up

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COUNCILLORS have backed plans to increase parking fines and introduce a night time parking charge on the arc in Bury St Edmunds.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet agreed the move, which will come into effect from April 1, as part of its annual increase of car parking charges.

Parking fines, which are currently £50 discounted to £20 if paid within seven days, will rise to £70 reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

The move also means that from April anybody who appeals against a parking fine and subsequently loses, will now longer have the chance to pay the discount rate.

“It will deter appeals from those who have nothing to lose by appealing even though there are clearly no grounds for their appeal, thereby increasing the council’s administration costs,” said a report to Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

The night time charge of £1 for the arc car park reflected the increased night time use of the car park following the opening of The Apex. The money from the night time charge will pay for staff at the car park during these hours, the report said.

Wednesday’s meeting also saw the cabinet vote through a raft of parking charge increases.

Heaviest hit will be users of the arc car park during daytime hours. Motorists parking there for longer than an hour will see a 50p increase on the hourly rate. The council says the car park is regularly full with drivers circling looking for spaces while other nearby car parks have spaces available.

“The increase in price is intended to displace some of this parking demand to less heavily used car parks where minimal changes are proposed,” the report said.