Controversial plan to attract shoppers to Northallerton by introducing parking charges is approved

The Northern Echo: PARKING CHARGES: Motorists will have to pay 80p an hour to park on Northallerton High Street from the summer. PARKING CHARGES: Motorists will have to pay 80p an hour to park on Northallerton High Street from the summer.

A CONTROVERSIAL scheme to attract more shoppers to a market town by introducing high street car parking charges has been approved.

North Yorkshire County Council’s Hambleton area committee agreed visitors parking on Northallerton High Street must pay 80p an hour after an initial free 30-minute period.

The proposal to improve traffic flows in the town centre by introducing higher charges on the High Street than in off-street car parks generated a wave of fury, particularly among traders, after it was revealed in October.

Leading councillors said more people would be able to access shops than they could with the existing two-hour free parking system and a pollution issue emanating from vehicle fumes would be resolved.

The meeting at County Hall heard traders call on the council to postpone or abandon the plan, with some claiming it would seriously damage the local economy.

Nearly 400 people responded to a consultation over the scheme, with just ten supporting the charges.

Opponents of the scheme included Barkers department store, Bettys tea rooms, Grovers toy shop, grocers Lewis and Cooper, Maxwells electricals and farm and garden suppliers Sam Turners, who said the authority had produced insufficient evidence to support the scheme.

They say free parking on the High Street's 250 spaces is among the town's greatest attractions for shoppers.

Shop owner Marcus Grover said instead of listening to the professional opinions of traders who had been in the town for over 400 years between them, the council had relied on flawed and outdated information.

He said: “This proposal makes businesses less sustainable and jobs less secure.

“I am hugely disappointed. But Northallerton is a great High Street and really shoppers want to come for longer than 30 minutes so they will be using the longer stay car parks.”

Hambleton councillor Ken Billings said problems parking in the High Street had already been resolved by the introduction of parking enforcement officers last October.

He said: “We all know the real reason for congestion in the town, it’s the level crossing.

"Businesses believe this will have a devastating effect on their trade, why are you not listening to them, they are the life blood of our town.”

Others urged the council to delay the decision until after the results of a Hambleton District Council report into the local economy, particularly following the closure of Northallerton Prison and the Rural Payments Agency.

Councillors have dismissed claims the scheme is being established to generate money.

Officer Tom Bryant said:” Officers believe there is a strong traffic management case for the proposals and we believe there is no conclusive evidence that parking charges have a negative impact on the town centre economies.”

Charges are due to be introduced this summer.

Comments (7)

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8:00pm Mon 10 Feb 14

spottycow says...

WE shop in the town every third week and we dont mind paying .We live in SCARBOROUGH
WE shop in the town every third week and we dont mind paying .We live in SCARBOROUGH spottycow

8:15pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Davy Crocket says...

What a bunch of penny pinching drama queens ... get real, Northallerton is an affluent town and the charges will only improve the situation not make it worse. The charges actually make me want to visit more as those who don't spend much and get free parking will be chased away.
What a bunch of penny pinching drama queens ... get real, Northallerton is an affluent town and the charges will only improve the situation not make it worse. The charges actually make me want to visit more as those who don't spend much and get free parking will be chased away. Davy Crocket

9:45pm Mon 10 Feb 14

MSG says...

Darlington Borough Council drive cars out of town by building on the car parks and charging high parking charges, Now Northallerton rips off it car owners with new charges. Middlesbrough , with its 2 hours free parking must be rubbing its hands with glee !!!
Darlington Borough Council drive cars out of town by building on the car parks and charging high parking charges, Now Northallerton rips off it car owners with new charges. Middlesbrough , with its 2 hours free parking must be rubbing its hands with glee !!! MSG

7:16am Tue 11 Feb 14

foss says...

"Leading councillors said more people would be able to access shops than they could with the existing two-hour free parking system" -- why? Perhaps the people who currently stay for two hours NEED to stay for two hours and so they'll pay the 80p per hour and nothing will change?
"Leading councillors said more people would be able to access shops than they could with the existing two-hour free parking system" -- why? Perhaps the people who currently stay for two hours NEED to stay for two hours and so they'll pay the 80p per hour and nothing will change? foss

8:49am Tue 11 Feb 14

Robert_ says...

RIP Northallerton.
RIP Northallerton. Robert_

9:33am Tue 11 Feb 14

cupid stunt says...

somebody must have voted for these prats
somebody must have voted for these prats cupid stunt

4:56am Wed 12 Feb 14

simonhulme says...

last time I come to your town
last time I come to your town simonhulme

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