Parking charge fears

Parking charges in market towns such as Dereham are inevitable if a unitary authority for Norfolk is introduced, it was claimed this week.The five Breckland towns - which also include Thetford, Swaffham, Watton and Attleborough - all have free parking at present, and this has proved to be a lure to shoppers.

Parking charges in market towns such as Dereham are inevitable if a unitary authority for Norfolk is introduced, it was claimed this week.

The five Breckland towns - which also include Thetford, Swaffham, Watton and Attleborough - all have free parking at present, and this has proved to be a lure to shoppers.

Whenever parking charges have been suggested in the past, the plans have always been thrown out amid widespread opposition.

However, Phillip Duigan, a Dereham town and Breckland councillor, told a public meeting to discuss the future of the centre of Dereham that parking charges would be “as certain as anything” if a single council took control of Norfolk


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As reported in the Times,

the Boundary Committee's preferred option is to replace the current two-tier structure with one authority covering the whole county and Lowestoft, in Suffolk.

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“If that occurs you are not telling me that the good burghers of King's Lynn, Norwich and Yarmouth would pay for parking and leave towns in Norfolk which are not,” said Mr Duigan.

Several people at the meeting spoke about “plumbing” in Cowper Road car park and the suspicion that it could lead to parking charges there.

Ian Philpott, Dereham Chamber of Commerce chairman, said the organisation would fight tooth and nail against parking charges.

“We believe free parking in market towns is paramount, and we have got to have

good town centre parking,” he said.

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