Council criticised over 150pc price increase for New Year's Day parking
PUBLISHED: 16:46 31 December 2018 | UPDATED: 20:09 31 December 2018
A Norfolk resident has hit out at a council over skyrocketing parking charges at a New Year's Day fireworks event which he claims is due to "greed".
Alan Reed, from King’s Lynn, says in the past he has regularly attended the fireworks display on January 1 in Cromer, but has been put off this year by rising prices.
Visitors to the town who park in Runton Road car park face a charge of £5 for all day parking from 2pm - a 150pc increase on the previous year’s charge of £2.
North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), who provide parking in the town, will also have the Cadogan Road and The Meadow car parks open, with usual charges applying.
And free parking is also available at locations including the Co-Op and Morrisons supermarkets, Amazona Zoo and Cromer Hospital.
But Mr Reed, 71, says he is concerned the increased cost will put families off attending the annual event.
He said: “There seems to be no justification other than greed.
“It certainly isn’t going to encourage more people to attend this basically free event.
“The fish and chip shops and restaurants might have a fantastic day’s business, but NNDC putting up the parking charge doesn’t sit too well with people.
“People will be put off attending.”
He added: “I think it’s a bit difficult to defend.
“It’s a nasty shock and it’s been very sneakily brought in.
“I expect a lot of people will turn up with their £2 coin and not expect to have to pay more.
“It’s only another £3 but it’s the 150pc increase that’s the issue.”
A council spokesman said: “NNDC is a big supporter of the annual New Year’s Day free fireworks event hosted on its pier in Cromer.
“A flat rate of £5 from 2pm is being charged at Runton Road car park to enable people to park safely and close to the event. For those parking at 2pm and staying until 6pm, this is cheaper than the usual 4 hour stay of £6.
“This annual event takes a significant amount of planning, organisation and staffing which comes at a cost to the council so that everyone can enjoy the fireworks free of charge.
“Other council-run car parks will be available with normal charges applying during the day, visitors are advised that they are expected to be extremely busy and leaving the town will take longer from these car parks than usual.”