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Fears for traders if parking charges are introduced in Northallerton
A MOBILITY scheme manager fears he and other traders in a busy market town will be hit hard if proposed parking charges are introduced.
Daniel Hillerby, manager of The Mobility Centre in Northallerton, said the Shopmobility scheme - which offers a fleet of scooters and wheelchairs for hire - has also suffered since more stringent parking enforcement has been put in place.
He said he had to move from his previous premises in Garth Way Arcade because the council removed around 40 per cent of the parking spaces around the shop and introduced double yellow lines.
He said: “I made the decision to move to new premises in East Road because there is parking available there.
“It was a gamble, but Shopmobility customers can park here for free while they do their shopping in one of our hire scooters.”
The Shopmobility scheme was developed three years ago by the Northallerton and Villages Community Forum in partnership with other organisations including the town, district and county councils.
Mr Hillerby said: “The scheme is in a bit of a downer at the moment and I have said the council does not have to pay me – I’m carrying on providing the service voluntarily.
“It does not cost a lot of money, just time away from my business.
“We don't need parking charges - we need successful business to help boost the town. There will be more empty shops in the town if these plans are to go ahead.”
Northallerton Mayor Councillor John Forrest said: “It’s diabolical what the county council will do to this town.
“The parking enforcement will come in May and by June Northallerton will be a ghost town.
“They should leave the parking the way it is for now and see how it goes because at the moment there isn’t a problem.”
A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said all the views expressed to the council in the consultation process on the proposal will be considered when a final decision is taken next year.
The public consultation on the scheme begins on November 15, and will run until January 3 2014. Comments can be made online at northyorks.gov.uk/northallertonparking.
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