In summer 2021, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils began developing a parking strategy that would outline both on-street and off-street parking provision for the next 20 years. Support towards, and expertise regarding, the development of the strategy was also provided by 2020 Consultancy (now known as Ethos Consultants).
A parking strategy is key to enhancing its local area. Via our own strategy, we want to make sure that our districts continue to be strong and vibrant for years to come.
Whilst some of the strategy's aims might be more obvious - such as:
- ensuring we have the right level of parking provision in the right places, which meets everyone's needs
- improving and maintaining our parking provision
- being a source of local knowledge to help support better on-street parking management
It must also help us to:
- enhance the local environment
- support sustainable transport (public transport, cycling and walking)
- encourage and shape future growth
- attract investment
Research and investigation
A significant amount of work has been carried out in this area, including benchmarking with other, neighbouring authorities and locations who share similar characteristics to ours. These characteristics might be type of town offering, size, population or key trip generators.
Occupancy and condition surveys of all car parks operated by both Councils were also carried out.
Engagement has been, and continues to be, a key focus in developing the parking strategy, but also beyond its adoption - we want to make sure that we keep everyone informed about what is happening in the districts.
Stage one online questionnaire
The stage one questionnaire was launched in August 2021, and was open for six weeks. This questionnaire was a fact-finding opportunity that allowed those interested in parking to comment on our existing arrangements.
Council officers delivered virtual and in-person workshops to Councillors, town and parish councils, transport groups, businesses, educational establishments and more.
Stage two online questionnaire and roadshow events
The stage two questionnaire was launched in June 2022 and was open for 6 weeks. This questionnaire focussed on the parking strategy's recommendations. Before the strategy was finalised and shared, we wanted to seek your views on the recommended actions to be included - and to find out the level of support, or opposition, for each recommendation.
Running in tandem with the questionnaire, we provided an opportunity for anyone interested to attend one of a series of roadshow events. These were held in 13 different locations across the districts during 21-28 June 2022.
The governance process began in August 2022 and ended in October 2022. The Cabinets of both Councils approved the parking strategy unanimously.
Our parking strategy and supporting documentation
- Our parking strategy report provides a full summary of our strategy, as well as it recommendations (78 pages)
- Our parking strategy summary provides a shorter summary of our strategy (21 pages)
- Our parking study report provides background information about parking within our districts
- Our consultation feedback report (Phase One) provides detail about the first phase of our consultation. This was an opportunity for the public, and key stakeholders, to provide feedback on parking within the districts (both existing provision, as well as potential changes and improvements)
- Our consultation feedback report (Phase Two) provides about the second phase of our consultation. This was an opportunity to provide feedback on the strategy's potential recommendations.
- Our consultation comments from Phase Two provides all free text comments that came with the answers to our Phase Two consultation questionnaire.