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Coastal Councillors Respond as North Yorkshire Car Parking Charges Increase by 20% Today

Friday, 19 April 2024 15:15

By Anttoni James Numminen, Local Democracy Reporter

Scarborough councillors have responded to the 20 per cent increase in council car parking charges which comes into effect today.

North Yorkshire Council is facing a £41m annual deficit and has defended the increase in car park fees as necessary due to the rising cost of infrastructure, repairs and security.

Leader of the authority, Coun Carl Les, said that the increase in charges – which take effect today (April 19) – was

“not just about raising money, it is also about traffic management”.

But councillors representing coastal areas have offered a mixed response alongside suggestions that funds could be ring-fenced for local areas and that charges should not start until later in the morning.

Labour’s Coun Rich Maw said:

“Everyone can recognise that increasing car parking charges is a quick and easy way for local authorities to raise cash, whether it is appropriate to do so right now, amid a Tory-driven cost of living crisis and at a rate of twenty per cent is debatable.”

The Weaponness and Ramshill representative told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS):

“Here in Scarborough we see time and again a plethora of campervans parked nose to tail along Marine Drive all year round.

“I should very much welcome strict enforcement on these drivers – if they take up two spaces, they pay for two and else receive a ticket.”

Coun Janet Jefferson, who represents the Castle division, suggested that parking charges should not start until 10am

“to give residents an hour where they can park freely and help the system”.

“There is so much pressure on our residents’ parking at the moment, we can’t take it anymore,”

North Yorkshire Council has said that as part of the increases in charges, it would invest in automated payment systems and the installation of electric vehicle chargers.

Head of the authority, Coun Les, added that a review of car parking charges across the county was needed.

Councillor Jefferson, an Independent councillor, agreed that a review was necessary and that she had

“chased it up again this week as we still don’t have a date for when it is going to take place”.

Representing the Derwent Valley and Moor, Coun David Jeffels said that whilst income from car parking “has become a key source of finance for local authorities”, he believed that a “strong case can be made for some of it to be ring-fenced to benefit a town’s environment”.

Speaking to the LDRS, the Conservative councillor said:

“Of course, repairing potholes would be a priority in Scarborough and surrounding villages.

“But a percentage of the income could also be used to enhance the town’s street scene with more attractive litter bins, floral displays, and generally creating a more welcoming atmosphere to residents and tourists.”

Councillor Jeffels, a former chair of the British Resorts Association, added:

“Car parking income is vital to help run council services, but channelling even a modest amount into our town’s environment could have considerable long-term benefits for a leading holiday destination such as Scarborough.”

 

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