CONFLICTING views have emerged of the stricter parking regime being enforced in a North Yorkshire market town.

One resident claimed the changes in Richmond, which have seen parking enforcement become a council responsibility, are the “the best thing to have happened” to the town, but some traders have criticised the information available on the new rules.

Earlier this month it was revealed that 2,083 parking tickets raising £58,897 were issued in Richmond last year, a rise of 1,200 per cent compared to £4,290 in 2011 when North Yorkshire Police were responsible for traffic enforcement.

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The resident, who did not wish to be named, but has lived in Richmond for ten years, said parking used to be impossible because market place business employees would park in the centre all day and motorists would leave their cars for hours instead of for the legal time limit.

He said: “For years the parking was terrible – people were parking on single yellow lines and in the market place all day.

“I would go into businesses and ask them why their employees were parking all day in the market place but was just told to go away.

“It is the best thing that’s happened to Richmond and I hope the new enforcement measures are here to stay.

“Police were not interested in enforcing parking, but now the rules are being upheld people can actually get a space in the town.”

However Tenille Wren, landlady of the Town Hall Hotel, said she understood the need for enforcement but felt conflicting information about the rules has meant she has been ticketed three times in the last week.

“I park behind the pub near Castle Walk and have been given conflicting advice about whether or not I can move my car after two hours to a nearby bay or if I have to move to a different area of town,” she said.

“On one occasion I forgot to leave the parking disc in the window but went to move it just after 9am and I had a ticket – I would have thought there would be a grace period because enforcement starts at 8am and you are allowed two hours.”

Richmond councillor Stuart Parsons said he had received mixed reactions to the newly-enforced rules but that generally people have accepted the change.

“A couple of people who have frequently complained about it are still unhappy but most people seemed to have welcomed what has happened and are pleased they are able to go shopping," he said.

“I understand that some businesses have issues with it but they have had ten years of being able to park illegally and now they need to be more careful.”