Shopkeepers’ petition over parking problems in town

Alison Ellis, of Copydiss has started a petition to make Weavers Court car park into a long stay. PH

Alison Ellis, of Copydiss has started a petition to make Weavers Court car park into a long stay. PHOTO: Sophie Smith - Credit: Archant

A petition launched by shopkeepers fed up of town centre parking woes has gained hundreds of signatures.

Alison Ellis, who works at Copydiss in Shelfhanger Road in Diss, set up the petition after Christmas to make nearby Weavers Court car park available for long stays.

The petition has now gained more than 400 signatures, and can be signed in 10 different shops in the town centre, including Half Moon salon, Albright's craft shop, EACH charity shop, and new additions Beactive Mobility and The Junction hair studio.

The parking status quo has been in place in 2017, when South Norfolk Council established long stay car parks in Shelfhanger Road, the Heritage Triangle, Church Street and Park Road.

Ms Ellis said: 'Last February I got my new permit and that's when I was told it was going to change from long stay to short stay.

'Up until that point there was no problem parking, I always parked in the Heritage Triangle car park but now if you don't get there really early it gets completely full up. I keep hearing about this survey that went out to the traders asking if they wanted it. I haven't met anyone yet who actually got that.

'A lot of people, like the hairdressers, they have customers that go in and need longer than four hours and they can't suddenly jump out of a chair and go and move their car, which has been suggested by someone.

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'It's not working. South Norfolk Council's response was that I can go and park down by the Mere. I'm carrying heavy printing.'

Sanda Igescu of Sandas in Diss Market Place, who lives in Thetford, said she had been told to walk to work by the district council, and that a colleague had to park in nearby Roydon recently due to the lack of parking.

At a Diss Town Council meeting on Wednesday councillors said the lack of long stay car parks in the centre was to increase customer turnover.

Meeting chairman Simon Olander said: 'The district council doesn't currently seem to be listening. These people are having their livelihood threatened. It wasn't like this before the change. They've got to reflect on that.'

The council infrastructure committee agreed to liaise with the district council and see 'whether there is any movement with the petition'.