Exhibition snub

PUBLISHED: 14:07 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:30 05 July 2010

A NORTH Suffolk seaside resort's mayor has criticised residents for not coming forward with their views on car parking and traffic control problems in the town.

A NORTH Suffolk seaside resort's mayor has criticised residents for not coming forward with their views on car parking and traffic control problems in the town.

Teresa Baggott said she was disappointed with the lack of interest residents in Southwold have shown regarding the opportunity they have been given to voice the opinions and concerns about the town's ongoing problems with car parking and congestion.

An exhibition and consultation is currently being held at the Town Hall and is a joint initiative between Southwold Town Council and Waveney District Council. As well as seeking to address these problems it will include new proposals for waiting restrictions in Southwold.

“It is ridiculous that people moan about the parking but when they have the opportunity to help resolve the situation they do not want to know,” said Mrs Baggott.

She added that only “a small handful of people” had so far given their views on the lack of car parking in the town and traffic problems. Mrs Baggott urged more residents to take part in the consultation.

Town councillor Geraldine Byrant has warned that if something is not done soon then traders in the town may suffer as people boycott the area because they cannot park their cars.

While residents and visitors in Southwold told of the problems motorists are facing and how these problems could be overcome.

Carol Foskett, owner of confectioners Number One St James Green, said: “At times it gets extremely busy and you can drive around looking for a space for up to 20 minutes.

“There was some talk in the town before Christmas of a park-and-ride scheme and I think if they could work this out then it would be great for the town especially in the summer.

“The volume of people here at peak times such as during the summer is incredible - something needs to be sorted out.”

Southwold resident Robert West added: “Parking in Southwold is ridiculous, during the summer I cannot even park outside my own house and have to drive around looking for somewhere to park, same goes for my mother who lives in the town near to the pier, during the summer people just park anywhere including over her driveway.

“What they could do in the summer to help the situation is open up part of the common. The parking here is crazy, the town should have more parking before people start staying away.

“There is probably enough parking for the people who work in the town but there is certainly not enough for people visiting here.”

Colin Hicks, manager of butcher's K.E. Hutsons Ltd, argued: “It is only a problem during the summer and Christmas, we are talking about just eight weeks out of 52.

“There are sometimes of the day when you get problems with lorries and people where they shouldn't. I admit though for those eight weeks something needs to be done as the town is bursting at the seams.”

The exhibition and consultation runs until February 2 and is open daily, contact the town council for more information on 01502 722576.

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