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Sudbury’s businesses are proud to be able to offer their customers 3 hours free parking in their District Council Car Parks.  However, there is currently a review by Babergh District Council who are considering starting charging for the currently free period and businesses are very concerned by how this will affect their trade.   There has been a lot of publicity about how High Streets all over the country are struggling, initially it was the competition from out of town shopping, who not only benefit from being able to offer free parking but also have lower business rates, now it is the growth in online shopping, which again does not have the same high levels of business rates.  Reports can be found to show evidence that shopkeepers overestimate the proportion of customers that travel by car.   However, these reports relate to metropolitan areas rather than small rural towns where many people have no option but to drive to the shops.

Local businesses rally together to protestr about the potential introduction of parking charges

Local businesses rally together to protest about the potential introduction of parking charges

Jane Hatton from the Sudbury Town Team said “Local authorities should see free parking as a service for local people not a short term method to raise money and more importantly as a way of supporting their market towns.”

John Hume co-owner of Angelo Smith Jewellers in North Street, Sudbury said “the introduction of parking charges will have a disastrous effect on the footfall coming into Sudbury.  I know this as we had a shop in Stowmarket, which saw a dramatic decline in trade once car parking charges were introduced and therefore we no longer trade in the town.”

Doug Dickson from Juniper Flowers in North Street, Sudbury said “As a small independent trader in Sudbury the free parking is of the utmost importance to us.  We pay a horrendous amount of business rates and if the free parking is removed there will be a drop in footfall, drop in revenue, closure of another shop, then who would want to pay to park for an empty abandoned high street?”


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3 Thoughts on “Save our FREE Parking ePetition

  1. I live halfway between Sudbury & Bury. I shop in Sudbury to support the independent shops and then the supermarkets secondly. If parking charges are introduced then I will take my custom to Bury. I can park in Ram Meadow for £2.20 all day…have lunch, wander in the fab Abbey Gardens, go to the little cinema….walk litter free and only see the odd charity shop….what’s not to like!

    Anyway, why bother, parking will be abolished in the North Street car park for the so called Bus Station, hence further reduced spaces, resulting people shopping elsewhere. Basically, Babergh will have shot themselves in their foot, as the saying goes!!!!!!

  2. I used to shop in Braintree but switched to Sudbury as parking costs increased. I know many people who now regularly shop in Sudbury not just for their wide variety of shops but because parking is easy and free. Braintree meanwhile has seen many of its shops close. I would not wish to see a similar situation in Sudbury which is such a pleasant and welcoming place to shop.

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