Letters to the Editor published January 18, 2019
PARKING: DIFFERING RULES AND FEES APPLY
I am writing in response to a reader’s letter, published in December, regarding illegal and resident parking in the Brackland area of Bury St Edmunds. I note from the letter that a resident’s parking permit in Blomfield Street costs £59 per year and £76 for an additional permit. I also note from the author of the letter that they have the option to park overnight in Wilko’s car park. In December, 2016, my wife and I moved into a newly-built property in Crozier Close, which is one of seven properties accessible via St Andrew’s Street car park. There are no allocated car parking spaces for these properties and we are not eligible to purchase a resident’s parking permit. Crozier Close is only a few streets away from the above-mentioned Blomfield Street.
At first, I purchased a parking permit for the long stay car park which cost £92 for eight weeks. I have since been purchasing a weekly ticket to park there, costing £11.50 per week. Over 52 weeks this works out at £598. This annual fee is £539 more expensive than a resident’s parking permit in Zone A, which is a significant difference in price. Residents living in Crozier Close do not have the option of being able to park overnight in other areas.
Over the period of two years I have noticed vehicles parked in the Short Stay car park on St Andrew’s Street displaying staff permits which have expired. At least one vehicle had been parked for five days and five nights. The maximum stay in this car park is three hours. There have also been regular occurrences of more than one hire vehicle parking in the long stay car park which have displayed season tickets which have expired. Despite traffic wardens patrolling regularly these vehicles have often got away without being issued penalty charge notices (PCNs).
I contacted firstname.lastname@example.org previously and received the following response from the Appeals and Administration Officer:-
“The long stay and short stay car parks on St Andrew’s Street are separate car parks with individual tariffs and traffic orders placed on them and as such must at all times be treated as individual sites.
From time to time there may be a West Suffolk staff permit in a vehicle on the short stay car park and this may remain in this position for longer than the permitted time. These permits are issued to West Suffolk staff and contractors, after an approval system based on the requirements of the job.
You may see these vehicles remain on a car park for longer than the maximum permitted time. This can be for a number of reasons including health and safety concerns, welfare concerns or planning reasons within the line of duty.”
There have recently been articles in the Bury Free Press regarding annual income received by local government regarding parking notices. It also seems that parking charges do not apply to everyone and that the system is very unfair. Considering the extortionate amount of money which myself and other residents of Crozier Close must pay to park our vehicles per year, this also adds a significant sum on income generated.
It would be very interesting to hear, perhaps from a local councillor or someone from the council, their views on why a) resident parking spaces cannot be allocated for the seven properties in Crozier Close, b) why there is a significant difference in fees charged to residents living within short distances from each other, and c) how and why some vehicles receive PCNs and others do not.
Name and address supplied
PARKING:THIS FREE-FOR-ALL MUST STOP
We read of the£3 million-plus in parking revenue, (BFP January 4), however, no figures were published on the running costs of our parking enforcement.
It’s a very difficult subject, one that causes consternation to all residents, in town and on our estates.
Sadly, because of Brexit, the Parliamentary time needed to turn parking over to West Suffolk Council seems to be lacking. I understand it needed 15 minutes only of Parliamentary time for this to become law, but now it is delayed until April, 2020.
Yes, parking revenue is down, and yes, Mark Cordell is right, we need pay-on-exit parking to encourage folk to shop longer and not clock-watch; we also need the electronic signs to be real-time, so visitors can know what spaces are available, when and where. It would cost £100,00 to make this become real time. Out of £3 million it’s not a lot. Bury St Edmunds Town Council has set aside enough funds for 2 PCSO’s above and beyond the ones allotted to Bury St Edmunds, and they will augment the ones we already have in Bury St Edmunds. This would go some way to stopping drivers parking in loading bays all day, in disabled bays and on the pavements, such as those in St John’s street.
The whole idea is to keep our town moving, to make parking easier, not the rat race it has become, to make it safe for pedestrians on St Andrew’s St South, with cars going willy nilly any which way at some considerable speed.
Many motorists feel that they can get away with paying nothing. They feel free to park where they like, regardless of any delivery drivers struggling to service clients, coaches and lorries trying to service our town, and the needs of disabled folk.
It should not be the free-for-all it currently is. Until we get some policing or wardens to cover our town, it will continue unabated, to the detriment of our town, the visitors, our residents and shoppers. These folk are the lifeblood of Bury St Edmunds; let’s unclog the parking arteries so all can enjoy our town.
Cllr Tom Murray
Bury St Edmunds
PARKING: NO WONDER REVENUE IS DOWN
Of course St Edmundsbury Borough Council doesn’t think it needs more car parks, nobody is using them.
And why bother when anyone can park all over the town on double yellow lines, turning places, bus-only bays, private roads, permit only areas, the pavement, etc? Nobody is bothering to ticket anyone parked illegally at present. So of course St Edmundsbury Borough Council car park income is down £109,477. If all those parked illegally had to park legally in a car park, council income would be better. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the maths. It is nothing to do with the hot weather, snow or road works. Why did they get rid of traffic wardens? They may have cost money to employ, but they forced people to park in car parks, bringing in money to help pay their salaries. £109,477 more income, it turns out.
Mrs P Harber
Bury St Edmunds
20MPH ZONE: BEWARE OF THE ‘MATURE RACERS’
While it is commendable that a ban is planned to keep “boy racers” out of the town centre, perhaps something can be done about the “mature racers” in the 20mph speed zone covering the town centre. These “mature racers” regard Churchgate Street and others in the 20mph zone as drag strip as they accelerate well past the 20mph limit. They are currently using the roadworks on Churchgate Street as a slalom, as they mount the pavements to continue up Churchgate Street – ignoring the Road Closed signs and the threat to pedestrian safety.
Bury St Edmunds
A&E: PRAISE FOR STAFF AT TOWN’S HOSPITAL
Again I write in praise of the National Health Service and in particular of the staff at West Suffolk Hospital. Some weeks ago I tripped and fell in the street and injured my right hand and wrist. These became became painful and swollen and I presented myself at West Suffolk’s accident and emergency department. I was promptly examined by a triage nurse and thereafter by the X-ray radiographer, and soon afterwards by a consultant in joint injury. He diagnosed a possible fracture and I was given a plaster cast on my right wrist and forearm, supplied with painkillers and discharged, the whole process taking barely one and a half hours. I am now completely recovered. Every member of staff whom I met was unfailingly courteous, sympathetic and patient, and displayed professionalism of the highest order.
Thank you all, so much!
Bury St Edmunds
ROUGH SLEEPERS: MY BRUSH WITH HOMELESSNESS
I write in reply to the letter from Tony Mildinhall (BFP, December 28). He contrasts the homeless in this country with the needy overseas.
I have been homeless, many yeras ago. I was sent to prison because I got behind in instalments to pay a motoring fine. When I was released, I found my then flat had been let to someone else and all my possessions had disappered. I know how desperate it is to be in that situation (but I learned a bit about human nature). I got out of it – but with no help – by finding a “Rachman” landlord who let grotty bedsits, and by getting a job driving a truck. I am now a 76-year-old pensioner living in a rural, council bungalow, and I see so many advertisements on television for overseas charities that my reaction now is “I can’t save the world!”.
A few years ago, I assisted a homeless person by taking him into my own home because I was outraged at the mindless people who destroyed his tent. I was then able to get him into a “half-way house” and eventually into council accommodation.
I think charity begins at home!
SAMARITAN: THANKS TO NURSE WHO HELPED ME
I would like to thank the nurse who came to my aid on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year when I took bad while shopping with my daughter in Bury, also, her poor boyfriend who had to wait for her while she dealt with me, and I did go to the doctor on the Monday. Thank you onece agsin, both of you.
RESURFACING: CHIPPINGS WITH EVERYTHING
Just before Christmas, a contractor came and laid tar on the car park area behind Fitzgerald Walk, Bury St Edmunds – this is a Havebury area – afterwards covering it with grey granite chippings and rolling it down.
Well, it did not work. It all came loose.
After complaint, Havebury Housing came with a road sweeper and three men with brooms. They did not do a good job, what a waste of money. There are still potholes and lots of loose chippings, which get in your car, in the house and in your shoes.
Come on, Havebury, it’s not 1960. Come and put some Tarmac down.
Bury St Edmunds