Soaring cost-of-living among objections to car park charge rises

Councillor Eric Seward, portfolio holder for finance and assets at North Norfolk District Council. 

Councillor Eric Seward, portfolio holder for finance and assets at North Norfolk District Council. - Credit: Liberal Democrats

The soaring cost of living was among the reasons given in the handful of objections lodged against car park charge rises in north Norfolk.

A move by North Norfolk District Council to increase parking charges for the first time in six years has been approved by the council, but it is due to go before the cabinet on June 6

Nine of the 12 submissions to the council on the issue objected to charge increases, with several mentioning the cost of living. 

One commenter said they thought any price rise would hurt trade in towns, which were still struggling to bounce back from the pandemic.

The commenter said: "There is also the current cost of living crisis which is already having an effect on peoples spending power.

"I see no reason other than profiteering to charge a higher price for parking at our coastal resorts than to those inland."

Another commenter called price rises "a blatant cash grab against motorists" when it was already "impossible" to park in places like East Runton for disabled badge holders. 

Someone else who wrote in called for all town centre car parking to be made free to draw more business, and suggested a two-month trial at North Walsham's Vicarage Street Car Park.

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And another commenter said they were in "complete agreement" with price rises in Cromer.

This commenter said: "As a resident living in the town I think visitors should expect to contribute to the town at a level in line with the current rate of inflation.

"The cost of maintaining these facilities should be paid by the users and not the ratepayers."

Cabinet member for finance and assets, Eric Seward, told the council earlier this year the cost for maintaining public toilets, street cleaning and parks cannot just fall on locals but that tourists must also contribute.

Where motorists had to pay £1.30 for the first hour at 'resort' car parks they will soon be paying £1.50, and the first-hour rate of £1 at 'standard' car parks will go up to £1.20. Holt Country Park's all-day rate is changing from £2 to £2.30.  

Coaches will also have to pay more to park - £12 instead of £10.

The price rises are due to take effect on July 5.