: Waiting for next track...

: Waiting for next track...

Sunday parking charges given go-ahead

Sunday parking charges given go-ahead

Published at 12:52pm 16th August 2016. (Updated at 11:48am 17th August 2016)

Plans to introduce Sunday charges for on-street parking in Harrogate have been approved.

North Yorkshire County Council's Executive gave the go-ahead at a meeting on Tuesday.

Charges will be introduced between 10am and 6pm, and are expected to be in place from 1 October.

The proposals have proved controversial, with opponents raising concerns about the potential impact on businesses in the town centre.

Speaking about the decision, County Councillor David Simister said he "didn't think it would be any other way".

He added: "They should be incentivising people to use the car parks. An hour free, as it used to be in the Jubilee car park on a Sunday. People used to use it, then of course the council saw it was popular, so they stuck the charges on it.

"You're taking from us, but give us something back."

It's also been claimed that the charges are a money-making exercise, but the authority has insisted that they will go towards transport improvements.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire's Executive Member for Highways, said: "I realise some people believe these charges will have a detrimental impact on Harrogate, but I am not aware of any conclusive evidence that reasonable parking charges have a negative impact on town centre economies.

"I believe introducing charges and encouraging more rapid turnover or premium parking spaces on-street on Sundays will be good for businesses, because at the moment on Sundays, those streets are fully parked up, people have no incentive to move on and many people are simply parking for convenience and are not going into shops, restaurants or pubs to support our economy."

At this stage, plans for evening charges throughout the week won't be implemented, but further work will be done by the joint review group to find a solution which "balances" on-street and off-street parking.

In the last few weeks, new on-street parking ticket machines which now accept cards have been installed.