New free parking in all the town’s car parks has been introduced in a lovely North Yorkshire town as part of a new bid to boost the local economy.
The 12-month initiative will provide 150, 000 free parking tickets in total, saving £75,000 a year, potentially, in parking fees for local residents and visitors.
The brainchild of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, the scheme works when people take a car parking ticket and take part of the ticket to local businesses who are part of the scheme.
Nidderdale Chamber of Trade chairman Keith Tordoff MBE said: “Many people do not want to pay for parking when they are only wishing to quickly use a local shop or service.
“People want to be able to park near to where they shop to make it easy to carry things back to their vehicle.
“Under the new scheme, anyone parking in any of the town’s car parks will be able to park for the first hour and recover the cost.
“We’re hoping this initiative will help to increase the number of people shopping or using the local services knowing that it does not need to cost them anything for parking for up to one hour.”
One of the main bugbears for residents and visitors in the Dales is parking and the cost involved.
Studies have shown that potential customers are willing to travel to shop where free parking is available.
Under the new scheme, as long as the person spends more than £5 and hands part of the parking ticket over, they will get their 50p parking fee refunded or have that amount discounted from the amount they have spent in any business showing the free parking logo in their premise’s windows
The 150,000 figure is the amount of tickets which are normallly issued annually by parking machines in Pateley Bridge.
The new scheme is being subsidised by Nidderdale Chamber of Trade and the participating businesses in the town.
There is no cost to Harrogate Borough Council and no loss to its revenue from parking charges in Pateley Bridge.
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Keith Tordoff said: “This is a win-win situation for both parties as most people will be spending over £5 and the businesses will benefit from increased visitor numbers.
“I believe this new initiative will help to make even more people want to use the businesses of Pateley Bridge and is a very exciting initiative.
“The scheme is all part of making Pateley Bridge and its High Street an appealing place to stop, shop and visit.”
The Nidderdale Chamber of Trade’s free parking initiative is on a annual rolling contract but it will retain first option on renewing the scheme each year.
In 2017 Pateley Bridge was recognised as one of the best places to live in the country in the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live in Britain guide.