Plans for Harrogate Sunday disc parking 'too expensive'

Ticket machine in Harrogate
Ticket machine in Harrogate

The county council has dismissed the campaign to introduce free Sunday disc parking in Harrogate town centre as it would be an “additional charge” for tax-payers.

A campaign was launched to introduce free disc parking on Sundays in May after the county council revealed it had put plans to introduce Sunday charges back on its agenda.

However, at a Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce meeting on Monday, July 11, Coun Don Mackenzie raised concerns about the campaign during a question and answer session with businesses and residents.

When asked about the potential of disc parking solving the problem of limited spaces on a Sunday, Coun Mackenzie said that the cost to the tax payer would be too high.

He said: “We would have to pay for new signage and more traffic wardens to police it.

“This could be paid for by parking fines but I don’t think schemes should start being paid for by penalising drivers for parking too long.

“I agree that the cost of new signage for disc parking would be relatively small but it is important that we produce incentives for people to park off street.

“There are still plenty of disc spots available around the outside of the town centre but town centre disc parking will not encourage people to use off street parking.”

In June, the county council published new evidence which showed that occupancy of spaces across town centre streets on Sundays was “very high”.

As a result of the evidence, Coun Mackenzie said his initial view was that charges would free up these “premium parking spaces” for shoppers.

However, campaigners have argued the charges would deter visiting motorists.