The parking charges set to be introduced across towns and villages in a Suffolk district have been revealed. 

Parking in Sudbury, Hadleigh and Lavenham is currently free for three hours – but Babergh District Council announced it could no longer subsidise free parking as it faced a £6.7million budget gap.

Details of proposed short term parking charges for Sudbury, Hadleigh and Lavenham have now been published. 

It proposes an introduction of a £1 charge for short stay parking for the first hour or £1 for two hours in long stay parking. 

It also includes a reduction in the cost of all day parking in Sudbury and Hadleigh from £3 to £2.50 to support town centre workers and encourage visitors to the area.

What are the proposed tariffs?


East Anglian Daily Times: David Busby, Babergh District Council LeaderDavid Busby, Babergh District Council Leader (Image: Newsquest)

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People living in Sudbury set up an online petition to help save free parking, stating: "The introduction of extra car parking charges would further reduce the number of customers, employees and viability of retail businesses."

Sudbury Town Council unanimously opposed the implementation of parking charges following a meeting in December 2023. 

Speaking at the time, Jan Osborne, mayor of Sudbury, said: "It was unanimous that the town council opposes the implementation of parking charges and a letter outlining the reasons for this will be sent to all district councillors at Babergh."

East Anglian Daily Times: Jan Osborne, mayor of SudburyJan Osborne, mayor of Sudbury (Image: Sudbury Town Council)

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Other sections of the proposal include free parking on Sundays and Bank Holidays, no charges for Blue Badge holders, increasing short stay to four hours maximum, the introduction of season tickets, and refund arrangements for users of the council's leisure centres at Sudbury and Hadleigh. 

The proposals will go before members of Babergh's overview and scrutiny committee for feedback ahead of recommendations for cabinet members to decide next month. If accepted, the new charges are likely to come in by the end of summer. 

Babergh District Council leader, David Busby, said: "We have said all along that we would rather not have to introduce short-term parking charges, and that if we have to do so, we will ensure that they are modest, fair, and that we take on board suggestions and feedback from the communities affected. 

"Although the recommendations in this proposal help in part, they do not solve the whole problem. There will be further difficult decisions ahead."