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Pay on exit scheme at Bury St Edmunds car park to be made permanent

A pay on exit scheme which was trialled at a Bury St Edmunds car park is to be made permanent.

The St Andrews flexi-stay car park was introduced by West Suffolk Council last June following calls from Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District.

The system initially received complaints from users due to technical issues but a council report recommending the scheme be made permanent says the ‘volume of complaints or adverse social media feedback has reduced radically’.

St Andrew's car park. Picture: Google
St Andrew's car park. Picture: Google

Between June 24, 2019 and January 31, 2020, the car park generated £203,367 in income from 109,206 transactions compared to £576,534 from 233,336 transactions for the same period in 2018.

The council says the most popular stay is two hours and more people are taking advantage of the longer stays newly available at the site with 10,191 users having stayed over the previously available three hours.

The report said: "Whilst transactions and income at the flexi-stay are lower than the previous short stay car park it is clear through budget monitoring that customers who do not favour the technology have migrated to alternative car parks."

It added that the car park 'operated well and without significant queuing' throughout the peak seasonal period.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds, said: “Although there were initial difficulties with the payment system, this situation improved the longer the trial lasted due to customer familiarity and with enhanced equipment."

He added they were 'delighted to see the arrangements being made permanent' and, in due course, would like to see the scheme introduced in other town centre car parks.

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