'We lose customers because we don't have parking' - Businesses hit out at Oulton Broad pay-and-display
PUBLISHED: 13:54 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:54 19 August 2019
Businesses have hit out at a pay-and-display car park for driving away customers due to 'unfair' parking fees.
The car park on Bridge Road became a contentious topic last year when people were left confused about if they could park there for free.
When the previous owners of the car park closed down, many assumed it was free to use.
Katie Jayne, managing director of neighbouring Dinky Town, said: "The car park was pay-and-display in September and October, then the cameras and machines got taken away and you didn't have to pay."
But since the property was believed to be sold from Winelodge Lowestoft Limited to SLS properties at an auction in February, businesses say it has gone through periods of being free and pay-and-display, and customers are now complaining about surprise fees.
Mrs Jayne said: "It's very frustrating, we've had it free and then it changed again. It's privately owned, not to do with any local businesses."
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Romi, a chef at Family Fish Plaice, said the car park was made pay-and-display in the last month, which is turning customers away.
He said: "It was free for about three months and now there are machines. We lose customers because we don't have parking now and roadside parking is always full.
"It was free, then someone bought the building and a national private company bought the company. We lose customers because some want to come and sit inside but can't."
The restaurant asked the owners of the car park for dedicated spots for customers and delivery cars, but they said: "You have to pay £500 a year per parking spot. It's not fair. If it was free it would be good for everyone, for us and our customers.
"They have the parking, and local businesses lose investment. Most of our customers say they want to park longer, now my delivery driver is affected.
Jonathan Lecaille, National Parking Enforcement managing director, said: "It is a pay and display car park just like most other car parks."
Tony Burlingham, director of Winelodge Lowestoft Limited, said his company sold the car park earlier this year.
SLS Properties declined to comment.