Why the Advertiser insists Harrogate parking charges plan must be scrapped

Parking charges
Parking charges

The Harrogate Advertiser is today launching a campaign opposing North Yorkshire County Council’s plans to introduce Sunday and evening on-street parking charges across the town centre.

Thousands of outraged residents and businesses in Harrogate successfully petitioned to have the charges shelved in February, pending further traffic surveys by the county council.

However, the Advertiser learnt earlier this month the surveys had now been completed and the plans were set to be re-introduced without any further consultation.

A decision over the plans is expected this summer but, with no realistic opportunity for protestors to raise concerns, this newspaper is taking a stand.

Hundreds of signatures have already been left on a new petition urging the county council to scrap the charges but introduce free disc parking on Sundays.

The Advertiser insists their voices must be heard.

Mike Pywell, who has launched the petition, is now calling for free disc parking to be introduced on Sundays as an alternative to introducing the charges.

He said: “Its clear there’s no case for evening charges but we believe NYCC intend to introduce charges on a Sunday.

“We accept parking controls are needed, they would stop people taking up shoppers parking spaces, but we completely reject any plans to introduce charges.

“Free disc parking on Sunday would encourage visitors, benefit trade, and not effect people attending church services. Parking wardens already work on Sundays so additional cost would easily be covered by fines.

“If we do not campaign and secure free disc parking for Sundays, NYCC will introduce charges. We should be helping businesses not making it more difficult.”

“Don’t misunderstand this message; Harrogate council are doing a tremendous job in so many areas, the gardens, the lights, the flowers, the Stray etc.

“But what is the point of all of that if our county council don’t take an entrepreneurial approach to something as basic as parking?”

Almost 900 signatures have been added to the petition, including that of county councillor David Simister.

Now, the Harrogate Advertiser, is urging its readers to add their signature to the petition and make their views heard to the county council.

The county council must listen to the arguments and concerns of those they represent.

Sign the petition here.