Council responds on parking 'nightmare' on Tower Street

Part of Tower Street in Harrogate.
Part of Tower Street in Harrogate.

The arrival of a hotel and a gym in recent years has transformed Tower Street in Harrogate into a bustling area - but not necessarily in a way that pleases all traders.

Some of the shop owners on Tower Street say a new parking system introduced recently has created more problems than it has solved.

But Harrogate Borough Council say the changes are necessary to deal with a problem caused by drivers' reluctance to pay to park in the recognised, moderately-priced car parks in the same street

A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council said: "Recognising that both developments have increased demand for parking in that area, we amended the parking charges to encourage people to make use of the car parks rather than parking on residential streets."

Though acknowledging there is now a problem to be dealt with, trader David Lee of Herbert Todd electrical retailers on Tower Street remains convinced the new parking bays are badly placed.

He said: "When the council came to check the site, there were no cars around. Not enough thought has gone into the new arrangements.

"The new businesses have brought more people into the street but this is ridiculous.

"The parking bays are too close to the corner with Belford Road. It's ridiculous. Anything bigger than a Ranger Rover has to mount the kerb to get through.

"St Peter's School is just round the corner. There could be an accident. It's just a matter of time."

Local residents first felt the initial impact of the arrival of a new hotel and a gym two years ago.

Since then, there has been a massive increase in people parking in the area between Victoria Avenue, West Park and Station Parade.
Suddenly, the quiet street was quiet no more.
As a result, on-street parking rules have been tightened up considerably in Tower Street in the past two weeks.

Part of the changes are new parking bays painted outside houses along Tower Street based on disc parking which allows visitors to park their cars for free for a maximum of 20 minutes from 8am to 10pm.

David Lee said: "There is a problem with people not using the pay car park next to The Tap pub or the multi-storey, either.

"We've had to invest in building a barrier and lock it after closing to stop people parking in our customer car park.

"But why not make it all yellow lines and make the street 'no parking'? The council must be generating money from the new parking rules."

Traders are also complaining to the Harrogate Advertiser that there simply isn’t enough room now to get the increased number of lorries and vans to get past without them mounting the pavement on the opposite side of the road.

But Harrogate Borough Council says it is up to people parking in Tower Street to use the correct car parks.

A spokesperson for the council said: “A £2 evening tariff is available at West Park multi-storey from 4pm until the following morning and we have also reduced the hourly tariff there to 50p per hour for the first 2 hours to encourage gym users to use the car park as well.
"This is the cheapest parking tariff in the town centre and is good value for money for parking in such a prime area.”

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