Harrogate MP Andrew Jones has welcomed news that Harrogate’s County Council Area Committee overwhelmingly rejected plans to introduce parking charges later in to the evening and on Sundays in Harrogate town.
The proposal from North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) was originally to introduce a flat rate fee of £2 from 6pm to 12 midnight and to introduce daytime parking charges on a Sunday. This was amended at the last minute to extend weekday and Saturday charging to 7pm and to introduce Sunday charging.
In the report from Council officers little evidence was provided to support the proposals – charging can only be introduced on traffic management grounds and not simply as a cash-raising measure.
The committee voted 14 to nil opposing the charges. Instead they asked that NYCC work with Harrogate Council, who manage the car parks, to come up with a strategy addressing parking charges as a whole. I support this, I want to see both Councils re-examine the whole rationale for charging listening to the views of shoppers and traders.
We need a mix of on-street and off-street pay parking and free disc parking that works for residents and contributes to the attractiveness of our area for visitors. That means the councils working together for the good of our area.
The final decision on how to approach this issue will now be taken by the County Council’s executive of 8 councillors on 8 December.
Mr Jones continued:
I have written to the Leader of North Yorkshire County Council to make my views clear and hope that when the final decision is taken on 8 December that the County Council Executive will choose that collaborative path. We need a say in what happens in Harrogate and backing the Area Committee’s proposals would demonstrate a willingness to listen to that local voice.