Council condemned as 'selfish' over Northallerton High Street parking charges plan

The Northern Echo: COUNCIL CONDEMNED: Traders are battling plans to introduce parking charges on Northallerton High Street. COUNCIL CONDEMNED: Traders are battling plans to introduce parking charges on Northallerton High Street.

A COALITION of firms which employs 429 people on Northallerton high street has branded a plan to cut free parking to 30 minutes as “selfish”.

The Northallerton Retail and Business Forum members warned North Yorkshire County Council’s scheme to introduce car parking charges on the 250 spaces in the town’s High Street would set a precedent for surrounding towns.

The Northern Echo revealed in October that fees of 80p an hour after an initial free 30-minute period could be introduced in Northallerton High Street by May next year, with reviews of some other town centres in North Yorkshire, including Richmond, expected to follow.

The council said studies had revealed numbers of vehicles parking for longer than the two-hour limit had fallen by 48 per cent since the introduction of civil parking enforcement in May and that 58 per cent of people believed parking in town centres was a problem.

It has launched a public consultation exercise over introducing higher charges than in off-street car parks to ease parking issues and increase the number of shoppers, stating the funds accrued would be invested in highways schemes in local areas.

In a letter published today (Friday, December 12) in The Northern Echo’s sister paper, The Darlington and Stockton Times, Barkers department store, Bettys tea rooms, Grovers toy shop, grocers Lewis & Cooper, Maxwells electricals and farm and garden suppliers Sam Turners said the authority had produced insufficient evidence to support the scheme.

The traders said the real cause of traffic issues in the town were the level crossings.

They said: “At a time when many councils are looking to reduce and even abolish parking charges the council is pushing for more.

“The council can only instigate charges if there is a justifiable ‘traffic management’ need, but they come up woefully short on evidence and added value.

“The council’s decision to announce and consult on a new chargeable scheme right over the Christmas period is astonishing and underlines how this selfish proposal is simply a ruse to fill NYCC coffers at the expense of its businesses, residents and visitors.”

A county council spokesman said the consultation was being held over a longer period than was required by statute to give everyone a chance to air their views and that responses received from traders.

He said: “The scheme is designed to improve the retail environment in Northallerton by improving the turnover of vehicles in the High Street.

“We refute the suggestion that this is driven by the principle of raising revenue.”

The council is due to decide on whether to introduce the plan at a meeting on February 10.

For details, visit northyorks.gov.uk/northallertonparking

Comments (2)

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11:18am Fri 13 Dec 13

the challenger says...

Many local authorities throughout the North East and indeed the UK who have had their budgets slashed by Whitehall are now looking to generate revenue wherever they can. The motorist is the easiest and least resistent 'prey' of these bureaucrats who are like leeches taking every penny they can to subsidise their huge Council salaries. After all, if they didnt generate easy cash from somewhere, quickly, their own high Council salaries might very well be at risk. They are so short sighted that they cannot see that they will only drive away visitors and local shoppers who will spend their hard earned cash at out of town retail parks where the parking is free. Local Authorities need to wake up to the High Street 'drain'.Once the customer is gone....they are gone...forever!!
Many local authorities throughout the North East and indeed the UK who have had their budgets slashed by Whitehall are now looking to generate revenue wherever they can. The motorist is the easiest and least resistent 'prey' of these bureaucrats who are like leeches taking every penny they can to subsidise their huge Council salaries. After all, if they didnt generate easy cash from somewhere, quickly, their own high Council salaries might very well be at risk. They are so short sighted that they cannot see that they will only drive away visitors and local shoppers who will spend their hard earned cash at out of town retail parks where the parking is free. Local Authorities need to wake up to the High Street 'drain'.Once the customer is gone....they are gone...forever!! the challenger

3:05pm Sat 14 Dec 13

hullgodfreyshire says...

this council are either ignorant to the extreme, or just PLAIN STUPID, they are committing total suicide on behalve of ALL the shop in northallerton or they are just sick of working for the council and are trying to be made redundant.
IF YOU FRIGHTEN AWAY THE CUSTOMER YOU KILL ALL TRADE IN THE AREA AND YOU CAN KISS GOOD BYE TO THE CUSTOMER EVER COMING BACK. THERE IS A SAYING ON SALES "its easy to get a customer once BUT it is impossible to get one back when you loose one"
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED,
IS THIS BYE BYE NORTHALLERTON
this council are either ignorant to the extreme, or just PLAIN STUPID, they are committing total suicide on behalve of ALL the shop in northallerton or they are just sick of working for the council and are trying to be made redundant. IF YOU FRIGHTEN AWAY THE CUSTOMER YOU KILL ALL TRADE IN THE AREA AND YOU CAN KISS GOOD BYE TO THE CUSTOMER EVER COMING BACK. THERE IS A SAYING ON SALES "its easy to get a customer once BUT it is impossible to get one back when you loose one" YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, IS THIS BYE BYE NORTHALLERTON hullgodfreyshire

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