The majority of drivers believe the parking charges in Diss are fair, according to a recent consultation.
The Town Team and the Diss Heritage Partnership funded six surveys over a three-month period, with more than 430 people taking part.
The results revealed nearly 74 per cent felt parking charges were fair, with 19 per cent believing they were too high. One per cent of respondents said they thought current charges were too low.
Parking charges also had little impact on the length of their stay, according to the results.
Car parks as opposed to street parking was favoured by 82 per cent who took part, while the parking facilities at Morrisons, Weavers Court and Shelfanger Road, which accounts for a third of all parking, were the most popular choices for drivers to leave their cars.
The aim of the consultation was to understand what bearing parking availability, location and cost influences shoppers’ behaviour. This data will be used to inform decision-making on the £3 million Heritage Triangle project, and the town centre as a whole.
This consultation has provided invaluable information for the town, and has clarified our understanding about parkingSheila King
Sheila King, Programme Manager for the Heritage Triangle project, said: “This consultation has provided invaluable information for the town, and has clarified our understanding about parking.
“Many shop owners have noticed that their customers only stay in Diss for short periods. It’s clear from the parking survey that neither the cost of parking nor availability is influencing this decision.
“By investing in the Triangle, we will help to ensure that there are reasons for shoppers and visitors to ‘linger longer’.
“This will benefit not only the Heritage Triangle Traders, but also the town as a whole, as we can see that even shoppers who park in Morrisons, the most popular car park, are willing to walk the length of the town, provided there are reasons to do so.”
Elsewhere in the survey, the availability of parking was not an issue, with most drivers saying they are able to park at the first preferred location, even on Fridays and Saturdays.
For three quarters of those who responded, Diss is the number one choice for supermarket shopping. But just four per cent identified the town as their preferred place for other shopping, with Norwich being the most popular alternative.
A spokesperson for the consultation said the on-street parking spaces on Market Hill were a “specific focus”. The results showed shoppers use the spaces for “very short-term” visits, with more than a third staying for ten minutes or less.
The spokesperson added a concern of shopkeepers was just six per percent of those parking on Market Hill visit the shops within the Heritage Triangle, with only 14 per cent visiting Mere Street.
“Removing these spaces to allow Market Hill to become more pedestrian and disabled-friendly is being considered within the Heritage Triangle streetscape design plans,” the spokesperson added.
“Since 88 per cent of those parking in the spaces said they would park elsewhere if the spaces were removed, Diss Town Council agreed at their September full council meeting to allow their removal if the streetscape designs required it.”
What do you think? Are parking charges fair in Diss? Email firstname.lastname@example.org