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Newmarket parking plan to pave way for future crackdowns in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 16:47 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 10 January 2019

The parking pilot will inform where on-street parking will and won't be allowed in Suffolk going forward Picture: ARCHANT

The parking pilot will inform where on-street parking will and won't be allowed in Suffolk going forward Picture: ARCHANT

A parking plan for Newmarket is currently in development, it has been confirmed - and will form the basis for future provision across the county.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said delays by the DfT over civil parking enforcement were Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said delays by the DfT over civil parking enforcement were "obstructive" Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk County Council is currently working alongside Forest Heath District Council to develop the plan for the town, which will include on-street parking provision, restrictions and where further spaces can be identified.

A spokesman from Suffolk Highways said the pilot scheme is expected to be completed within the next few months.

Once it is in place, other district and borough councils will begin developing their plans.

The proposal comes ahead of changes to parking enforcement – which is eventually due to transfer from police responsibility to individual district and borough councils.

Currently, Ipswich Borough Council is the only authority in Suffolk which enforces car parking within its boundary.

A county council spokeswoman said: “Suffolk County Council Highways is working with West Suffolk Council to develop a parking plan, which will support the rollout of civil parking enforcement.

“The first location for the pilot will be Newmarket, with the anticipation that we will work with other authorities to develop plans where they are needed.”

The transfer of parking enforcement was due to come into effect from April this year, but delays from the Department for Transport – including a four month wait before declining an offer by Suffolk to draw up the legislation – has meant this is now no longer possible.

It means the cash-strapped police force is facing another year of having to enforce parking despite its stretched resources.

It prompted Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore to voice his anger, describing the DfT as “extraordinary” for having “been so obstructive”.

At the time, a DfT spokesman said: “We understand the importance of parking enforcement to local communities and will continue to work with councils on their applications.”

The parking plans will inform where parking is and isn’t allowed, as well as identifying new areas which can be opened up, for when councils take over the responsibility.

It will also impact on waiting and loading parking restrictions, and use of bus lanes.

A report published for next week’s Mid Suffolk District Council scrutiny committee revealed that it was also in the process of drawing up its plan.

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