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Mixed reaction to Downham parking changes

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New parking restrictions near Downham Market railway station have been met with a mixed reaction, while elsewhere in the town people can now park for longer in town centre bays.Parking outside Ashville House care home in Fairfield Road, opposite the car park at the rear of railway station , is to be restricted to one hour only, with no return within one hour, 8am to 6pm.Meanwhile, parking on the other side of the road, which borders the station car park, will be banned completely from 8am to 6pm, with a single yellow line in force for no waiting – no doubt frustrating some commuters who currently park there, although it only affects the end of Fairfield Road closest to the station.

Downham Market – Railway station.

There are concerns the new restrictions will have an adverse affect on residents living in the street as well as visitors to Ashville House.However, Anne Buckley, the care home manager, welcomed the new changes.She told Your Local Paper: “On the whole, we feel this would benefit the home. Currently we are unable to park any cars, at times, due to the proximity of the train station. “We do not blame commuters for parking freely but it will be better for family members and health professionals who pop in to see our residents.“If relatives plan on staying longer, we do have some private parking, however, in the past our driveway has been blocked some days by commuters so we have not always been able to access this, especially with larger vehicles such as delivery vans. “We have a large gated driveway for ambulances to park -some of the current parking has stopped ambulances being able to have an adequate turning circle and space for them to reverse which has therefore led them to parking in the road and blocking it, which is stopping all traffic flow up Fairfield Road.“Also we think we will benefit from the double yellow lines at the bottom of Fairfield Road for the safety of any driver coming out of the road, as you have to get a long way into the road before you can see incoming vehicles.”The proposals were supported by Norfolk Police, the town council and the local county councillor, Tony White. One objection submitted to Norfolk County Council, signed by three people, said: “The plans as they currently stand will mean that there is not ample parking space for the current residents of the road to park as the small area which will be left without restrictions will still get used by rail users/commuters.“This will negatively effect property value along with making parking a car anywhere close to the houses almost impossible, furthermore it will make loading/unloading any vehicle very difficult, it is essential to be able to park close by.”The objection suggested a more viable option would be to allocate parking to residents using a permit system, but this was rejected by the council.A council report compiled before the decision was made included a comment from a council officer, who said: “No one has the right to park on the public highway outside their property, and while a permit system may alleviate the problem for residents it is not financially viable for Norfolk County Council to promote a permit parking system for three houses.” They went on to say parking would still be available elsewhere on Fairfield Road, while residents could still park in the newly restricted area from 6pm to 8am.Elsewhere in the report it said: “The proposals are to be implemented to prevent obstructive and inappropriate parking outside Downham Market train station, to improve the safety of pedestrians accessing the school and to enable unobstructed vehicular access to the adjacent side roads.“Visitors to the care home on Fairfield Road will continue to be able to park adjacent to the property for a one hour period between Monday and Saturday with no restrictions on Sundays.”Elsewhere, existing parking restrictions will be eased to make them more standardised as one hour of parking, with no return within one hour, 8am to 6pm. Parking in the bays in Bridge Street located just down the hill from the town hall car park were already restricted to one hour but previously said no return within two hours.The bays opposite the Market Place, outside Ryan’s Bargains, and others along the High Street in both directions, will be extended from 30 minutes to one hour, with no return within one hour.The slanted parking bays near the town sign and war memorial, close to the Post Office sorting office, will similarly now offer one hour of parking, extended from 20 minutes.A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said the changes would be going ahead, adding: “We hope to start the work as soon as possible, once timings have been agreed with our partners who will help in undertaking the work.”



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