“Inadequate” car parking in Ripon could stunt the city’s growth if more spaces are not provided, the Mayor of Ripon has warned.
At a full city council meeting last week, Coun Pauline McHardy appealed to councillors for their support in contacting Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council to lobby for an increase in car parking.
Coun McHardy said: “If we’re trying to save the market, and improve Ripon, one of the problems that we’ve got for the businesses as well as the market traders is the car parking. I’ve raised this on several occasions at Harrogate Borough Council.
“We’ve got 658 car parking spaces for 17,000 people, this is inadequate. We can’t make Ripon grow unless we have somewhere for people to park. We have Yorkshire Day coming up, that’s going to be a real test for car parking.”
Coun Andrew Williams raised concerns about meeting the demand for an increasing population.
He said: “There’s already planning consent for over 300 homes in Ripon, and the draft local plan which was out for consultation, identified sites which could provide at least another 1600 or 1700 homes on top of those 300
“To provide more economic activity in the city centre, you’ve got to get in in the first place and you’ve got to be able to, quote, unquote, stay awhile amid its ancient charms.
“We are in danger of having a double-edged sword where too much development will mean that nobody can actually physically get in and find somewhere to park easily, and if you can’t find somewhere to park easily, it puts people off and they don’t bother coming and they go elsewhere.
“Without additional parking we can’t grow the local economy.”
The leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Coun Richard Cooper, told the ‘Gazette: “I am happy to sit around the table with representatives of Ripon City Council, and I do so frequently about many issues, including the market.
“I am happy to hear their solutions and consider them.”