WORK will begin next week on preparations for controversial new parking arrangements in the centre of Northallerton.

The new regime, which will see parking charges on the town’s High Street for the first time, is due to begin on June 2.

And next week work will begin to install the parking meters and associated signage. There will be 19 meters along the length of the High Street, between Quaker Lane and South Parade.

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North Yorkshire County Council hopes the new regulations will ease congestion and boost the town’s economy by making short-stay car-parking easier in the High Street.

Motorists will be able to park for up to half-an-hour for free but then must pay 80p an hour, for up to two hours at a time.

The council claims local businesses will benefit by motorists being encouraged to use off-street car parks for longer stays.

However the scheme met with a wave of local anger when first revealed late last year, with major traders opposing the scheme.

And of 400 people who responded to the consultation only ten were in support of the charges.