Suffolk County Council Tory Cabinet will today vote on a Parking Management Strategy in order to fulfil Department of Transport regulations ahead of any decision to give local councils in Suffolk civil enforcement powers. Civil enforcement powers mean local councils can issue parking fines and keep the revenue.
Many councils see the opportunity to generate more income as a good thing, but there is little evidence that parking fines raise enough income to cover the costs of the Parking Enforcement Officers, never mind generate surplus income to be used to prop up public services.
Cllr Owen said; “I have long fought for free parking in our market towns and villages as a way of ensuring our rural towns have a viable future. We know that free parking means towns, such as the one I represent, Sudbury, have a way of pulling people in. Given the continuing cuts to public transport free parking is the only way to guarantee the survival of our rural towns and I issue a warning that this action is likely to lead to parking charges across Suffolk. There is a real risk that the revenue expected from fines would only be short term and this could result in an attack on free off-road parking.