Stowmarket residents parking survey

Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and Stowmarket Town Council are collectively considering the introduction of a Residents Parking Scheme in Stowmarket, near to the railway station and the town centre.

All three councils have received requests from residents in the area who are finding it increasingly difficult to park near their homes.  At this stage we are consulting on whether residents want a parking scheme introduced and in which streets.

The area being considered for a Residents Parking Scheme includes the following streets:

Bond Street Edinburgh Close Stowupland Street
Bury Street Elizabeth Way Stowupland Road
Cardinals Road Fox Court Union Street East
Church Walk Hamilton Road Union Street West
Creeting Road West Milton Road North Victoria Road
Crown Street Regent Street  


To help us inform an understanding of your views on parking where you live, we are inviting residents who live in these streets to complete an online survey.  Your views are essential to ensure that the councils make the right decision on parking in your area.  We would be grateful if you could complete the online survey by the 5 May 2024.

Once the surveys have been completed, the next stage will be to analyse the responses and report the findings to councillors.  If there is a positive reply from the majority of residents in favour of residents parking, and a political consensus, then we would attempt to seek funding for the design of the scheme and for formal consultation to commence.

The formal consultation would be conducted by Suffolk County Council and there would be the opportunity for all to comment on the full details of the scheme and to express their support or to put objections forward.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Residents Parking Scheme? A Residents Parking Scheme involves formally restricting parking by only allowing residents and selected others who have a permit, to park within marked bays on the road.  The parking restrictions can be all the time or for a defined period eg. 9am to 6pm.  Usually the same restrictions are implemented over several adjacent roads to create zones.  A valid permit would allow parking within marked bays anywhere in the zone.

Why is a Residents Parking Scheme being considered in my road?  Several residents have complained to Stowmarket Town Council, Mid Suffolk District Council or Suffolk County Council about difficulties caused by the large numbers of non-residents parking on the road where they live.

Will I have to pay for a permit?  Yes.  Any Residents Parking Scheme will need to be self-financing.  The income from the permits and any fines will pay for the administration and enforcement of the scheme.  It cannot be used to generate additional income for the councils.

What is the cost?  The cost will depend on several factors such as the number of permits likely to be issued and the administration costs including enforcement.  For other similar schemes the cost of an annual permit is around £60 - £80.  Additional permits may cost more.

Is it compulsory for residents to buy a permit?  No.  If individuals do not want to to pay for a permit they do not have to do so although they would not be able to park within the zone when or where parking restrictions apply.

Do I need a permit for a motorcycle?  Yes.  A permit is needed for any motor vehicle although the cost of a permit may vary.  It is likely to be a condition of the scheme that parking of trailers and caravans on the road will not be allowed.

How many permits can I apply for?  The number of permits per household is determined by the availability of parking spaces on the road or in the zone.  The number of parking spaces and hence permits would be considered at an early stage in the design and consultation process but due to the limited space for parking it is possible that there may be restrictions on the number of permits available for each household.

Am I guaranteed a parking place outside my home?  No.  There may be more permits issued than there are available marked bays.

Will permits be available for visitors and tradespersons?  Yes.  It is normally possible to apply for visitor permits although the duration and number of these is likely to be limited and it be necessary to pay for them.  Visitor permits would be required for tradespersons working at a property but not for deliveries.

Will permits be available for businesses?  Businesses within a Residents Parking Zone may be able to apply for a limited number of permits for employees and commercial vehicles although it is likely that demand will exceed availability.  Limited waiting bays would be considered near businesses to allow street parking for customers when off-street parking is not present.

Will I have to display a permit in my windscreen?  Most newly created Residents Permit Zones now use digital or virtual permits rather than paper permits.  All permits are managed online, and residents are able to make changes to their permit and purchase visitor and tradesperson permits at a time that is convenient to them.

Would I have to register my vehicle registration when applying for a permit?  Yes.  All permits would have to be assigned to a specific vehicle registration.  If you regularly use different vehicles you would need to change the vehicle registration assigned to your permit before parking within the zone.

Will the whole of my street be changed to residents parking?  Not necessarily.  If some residents do not want to join the scheme, then some of the road can remain for general parking.  These spaces would be available for anyone to use eg. residents with or without permits, visitors, shoppers and commuters.

What if I don't want a Residents Parking Scheme?  All residents and businesses in an area where a Residents Parking Scheme is being considered will be formally consulted before a decision is made to proceed.  Unless supported by a majority of the local community we would not implement a Residents Parking Scheme.

What happens if someone parks in a Residents Parking Zone without a permit?  Anyone parking within a Residents Parking Zone who does not have a valid permit will receive a fine.  If a resident does not comply with the agreed conditions, it is possible that a permit would not be renewed.

How long would it take to implement a Residents Parking Scheme?  It is likely to take around between 18-24 months to implement a Residents Parking Scheme.  This and the online survey are the first stage of the process and are intended to inform residents and to determine the level of local support for such a scheme.  Detailed design and consultation work is then needed before the formal process can begin, during which any objections are considered, and the necessary legal orders created.

Complete the survey