Pay on exit Flexi-Park to be trialled in Bury St Edmunds from next month
A form of pay on exit parking will be trialled in Bury St Edmunds next month after businesses complained about losing trade due to the town’s current parking options.
West Suffolk Council announced the £10,000 pilot in March but has confirmed details about the Flexi-Park scheme, which will be in St Andrew’s Street short stay car park from June 10.
Business Improvement District Our Bury St Edmunds has been lobbying for several years for pay on exit after businesses said they were missing out on trade due to customers having to rush back to their cars before their ticket expires.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that West Suffolk Council has agreed to run a trial scheme.
“We want visitors to the town to able to be flexible regarding how long they stay parked in the town centre and this new scheme provides this opportunity.
“Our members believe this flexibility will enable visitors to their businesses to stay longer in the town and I’m hopeful that this car park will be very busy during the trial period.”
The cashless system will see visitors tap their credit or debit card at a contactless pad, enter their registration and tap their card again when they return to pay their balance.
They will be able to park for £1 an hour for the first six hours after which they will pay a whole day charge of £10.
If they stay overnight a £1 evening charge will apply from 6pm.
Short stay and long stay parking charges will remain available and the council will continue to monitor use to ensure there is a turnover of spaces.
Should this trial prove successful, the authority will look at introducing Flexi-Park to other car parks across West Suffolk.
Mark Walsh, West Suffolk Council’s assistant director for operations, said: “Flexi-Park gives town centre visitors greater choice about how long they park for.
“We can’t control whether somebody chooses to visit a shop to buy an item as opposed to ordering it online, but we can seek to encourage people to shop local, visit the town centre more often and spend more through providing the option of staying longer in our more convenient car parks.”