Councillor calls rise of parking fees a "disappointment" to market towns

choice to raise car parking fees in Norfolk market town labelled dispaointing by councillor

Christopher Cushing (top), leader of the opposition, and councillor for Fakenham North Ward has called NNDC's decision to raise the cost of standard parking a disappointment for market towns. Eric Seward (bottom) deputy leader has defended the decision. - Credit: NNDC/Eric Seward/ANTONY KELLY

A decision to raise car parking fees in market towns has been labelled a “disappointment.”

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) confirmed at its meeting on February 23 that a majority of NNDC councillors voted to put up prices at around 30 of its car parks including those in Cromer, Sheringham, Wells-next-the-Sea and Mundesley.  

North Norfolk District Council/NNDC car park, Vicarage Street, North Walsham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

A majority of NNDC councillors have voted to put up prices at around 30 of its car parks including those in Cromer, Sheringham, Wells-next-the-Sea and Mundesley. - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

A proposed amendment was put forward by Christopher Cushing, leader of the opposition, and councillor for Fakenham North ward, to keep the cost of the current standard car parking fees, which was voted down.

The rise will see the current standard tariff increase from £1 for the first two hours then 70p per additional hour, to  £1.20p for the first two hours, 80 pence for each further hour. 

Mr Cushing called the decision “disappointing”, saying the council should be doing all it can to support market towns, like Fakenham, North Walsham and Stalham.

However, Eric Seward, deputy leader of NNDC, said this was the first rise in parking fees since 2016, and the town's car parks remained among the cheapest in north Norfolk.

NNDC councillor for Lancaster North, Christopher Cushion.

NNDC councillor for Lancaster North, Christopher Cushion. - Credit: NNDC.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Cushing said: “I am disappointed the Liberal Democrat administration decided to increase the standard car park fees which affect Fakenham, North Walsham and Stalham.

“The inland towns of the North Norfolk district have not benefited greatly from the recent upsurge in tourism which affects the coastal towns.

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“I think the council should be doing all it can to help businesses in our market towns. Increasing the car parking fees does exactly the opposite.”

County councillor Eric Seward. Picture: Eric Seward.

County councillor Eric Seward. Picture: Eric Seward. - Credit: Archant

Mr Seward said: “This is the first rise in car parking fees since 2016. Taking into account inflation, it puts the fees in real terms back to what they were in 2016.

“The modest rise in the standard tariffs at our car parks in North Walsham, Stalham and Fakenham is consistent with what we are doing with the council's other car parks with coastal and resort tariffs.

"We are treating these three towns in the same way as other locations in North Norfolk.

“Our standard tariff car parks still remain the cheapest car parks in North Norfolk."