Both North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council are re-affirming their positions as councils that don’t listen to the public and are non-supportive of local business, as additional parking charges are introduced.
- On-street pay and display parking charges are to be introduced in Harrogate town on Sunday between 10am and 6pm from 13 November 2016
- On-street parking tariffs throughout the week in Harrogate will be increased from Monday, 7 November 2016
- Additional evening parking charges are due to introduced
The decision to introduce Sunday charges followed a consultation and a joint review with Harrogate Borough Council of on-street and off-street parking in the town. The review ignored the opposition from the majority of the general public.
Although these changes have originated from North Yorkshire Council, Harrogate Borough Council has also had opportunity to oppose the changes, but chose not to do so.
The Harrogate District Chamber, as a group, has largely remained silent on the matter but the Chief Executive, Sandra Doherty has been supportive of the change.
County Councillor, David Simister has been the only Councillor to voice opposition to the changes. All other Councillors from both County Council and Borough Councillors remained silent or supportive.
North Yorkshire County Council have refuted claims that it is simply a money making exercise and say Sunday charges are to encourage people wanting to park for longer to use off-street car parks.
They also say that charging for on-street parking spaces to ensure these are available for short stay shoppers and visitors – both Harrogate Borough Council will make money from the off-street car parks and County Council from the additional revenue from the on-street ticket machine.
In a double-blow to the town on-street parking tariffs will also be increased.
The on-street inner zone has been the same price as the Jubilee long stay and only 10p more expensive than the Victoria long stay. The on-street outer zone has been cheaper than both long stay car parks.
Short stay – increase tariff by 10p per 20 minutes
Inner zone – increase tariff by 10p per 30 minutes
Outer zone – increase tariff by 10p per 30 minutes
There is no evidence to show that reasonable parking charges have a negative impact on town centre economies. Indeed, our prime purpose is to reduce congestion and make our town centres even more attractive to visitors. There are plenty of empty spaces in Harrogate’s off-street car parks currently and a policy that encourages people to use these off-street spaces, which reduces on-street congestion, must be a positive step forward for the business, cultural and recreational life of the town.
Surpluses arising from our on-street charges are used for a variety of highways- and transport-related purposes, which themselves are designed to reduce congestion, like improving rail and bus services, contributing towards the cost of concessionary fares, and funding bids for highways infrastructure improvements, and cycling and walking schemes.
Evening parking charges are also set to be introduced, although there is no plans for any public consultation.
The public can also shortly expect an increase to the off-street and multi-storey car-parks, operated by Harrogate Borough Council.