North Yorkshire County Council is still pushing ahead with plans to introduce additional charges of a flat fee of £2 after 6pm and to charge for Sunday parking.
The authority say that the charges are needed to allow a greater turnover of parking spaces and that will of benefit to local business. Locally amongst business owners and residents there is little appetite for the changes. We still can not find anyone who is supporting the change – email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments or add them below to this news item.
County Council say that they have taken into account comments from the consultation they undertook. From that they have amended slightly the timing for parking charges on Sunday. They have dismissed calls for the plans for the additional charges to be shelved.
Councillor Rebecca Burnett, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainable Transport said:
Harrogate Borough Council maintains its objection to the evening charge.
There have to be traffic management reasons for introducing a parking charge and I am not satisfied at this moment in time that the case has been made by North Yorkshire County Council that there is a traffic management problem. North Yorkshire County Council claims that there is a problem with crowded on-street parking and cars circling for free spaces on an evening but hasn’t produced any evidence of this. Without evidence this is an unnecessary ‘solution’ to a problem which may not exist.
This is still just a recommendation and the decision has not yet been made. North Yorkshire County Council need to consider the high level of objections from residents and businesses which have been raised through consultation and petitions. Harrogate Borough Council implores the county council to see sense, to realise their error and to refuse this unnecessary charge. We will continue to do all we can to prevent this charge from being levied and I will speak at the Area Committee meeting on behalf of the council.
If the evening charge is brought in those people seeking free parking will overspill into the residential areas and residents disc zones which are unprotected after 6pm.
By trying to solve a problem, for which no evidence exists, a much more serious problem could be created.
There have been no formal revenue forecasts made as County Council say any revenue surplus is incidental to the traffic management role of the proposed parking measures. However, as part of the project working estimates have been made as set out below:
- Sunday charges – £150,000 per annum
- Evening charges – £183,230 per annum
Any surplus revenue must be spent on parking, transport or environmental improvements in accordance with Section 55 (as amended) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
Cllr Burnett said:
When we responded to the consultation we asked nycc to make concessions for churches.
They have altered the hours they were proposing to charge which might help the town centre churches.
I’m not sure they’ve gone far enough and want to hear the views of the churches affected.
I am sure there is no traffic management reason for the evening charge. I am aware however that there may be a traffic management reason for the Sunday charge.
In any case NYCC needs to produce evidence to support both and they have not done so.