September 2017

Walberswick Car Parks Update 

As reported in the March Village News, to assist in better traffic management in the village, at the start of the season we installed traffic lights on the approach to Cliff Field and pay and display machines in both car parks. After several weeks of operation we decided to remove the traffic lights as the attendants were now able to step in and manage the traffic as the new machines had freed them from selling the tickets and looking after the money. This has resulted in greatly improved management of traffic entering and exiting Cliff Field. 

Over the months we have worked with the machines manufacturers, to improve the performance of the machines as we have gained understanding of how our customers use them. We have simplified the instructions on the screens and will be adding antennas to some of them to improve reception for card payments. Overall the machines have been well received, with the attendants reporting that most people use them without prompting and that very few cars are without tickets when they do their hourly checks. 

The car park attendants have also been vigilant in putting the bollards on the corner opposite the Jubilee Seat, the road along the Green and down Ferry Road to stop cars illegally parking and hindering the flow of traffic. This was especially important on the Bank Holiday weekend when the car parks were full by lunch time and cars were queuing back through the village. Even though the car park full sign was out at the water tower, the cars kept pouring in! The attendants did an excellent job managing a difficult situation defusing frayed tempers and walking along the queue of cars explaining that the car parks were full and suggesting people turn around.  

So far we have had a very successful year financially, with our current takings being nearly equal to our best year ever. This means more money going to Walberswick Common Lands Charity to support people and projects in the village. 

Usually the car parks cease operation at the end of September. We have decided that we would like to trial keeping the machines operating during the autumn and winter months. The car parks won’t be manned but our new Operations Manager, Victoria Cowley will work reduced hours to check the machines are working and to collect and bank the cash. The machine at the end of Cliff Field will be removed and stored until summer as this area is closed off in the winter months. In the case of a flood warning, the other machines will also be removed and stored to protect them from damage.  

Residents’ permits will still be valid during this period and cars with a disabled parking permit will still be able to park for free. 

If you have any queries about the trial or the operation of the car park generally please send me a note at 7 Church Lane Walberswick. 

Kate Goodchild

Chairman Walberswick Car Parks Ltd