Coronavirus: Harrogate Council defends parking decision

Coronavirus: Harrogate Council defends parking decision

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 5:02pm 10th June 2020. (Updated at 5:04pm 10th June 2020)

Harrogate Borough Council has defended its decision to restart car parking charges from next week.

  • Car parking fees at 28 car parks in Harrogate will be reintroduced from Monday.  
  • The change is planned on the same day non-essential shops are due to reopen.
  • The move has prompted a mixed reaction from businesses in the district.     

It was announced on Monday that fees at the district’s 28 car parks – as well as on the street – will be reintroduced when non-essential shops reopen on Monday, June 15.

And whilst some business leaders have welcomed the move, others have said it won’t help bring shoppers back to the high streets.

A spokesman for Harrogate Borough Council said:

“Charges will promote a healthy turnover of vehicles to encourage more shoppers to come to the town and should promote safe social distancing.”

“There are hundreds of free parking spaces within a five minute walk from Harrogate town centre.”

Charges were suspended in March to support key workers – a move which has meant the council has lost around £500,000 in parking revenue.

Some councils in England have already reintroduced parking charges to claw back their costs, whilst others have waived fees for another few weeks.

Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce said free parking should have continued until the end of July. Its president Steve Scarre said it would have encouraged shoppers back to town centres, but he did recognise the lost revenue to councils.

Harrogate Borough Council is responsible for off-street parking, whilst North Yorkshire County Councils looks after on-street.

The authorities are urging motorists to use the AppyParking app in Harrogate, which is available for all paid-for parking spaces.

Anyone paying with cash is asked to use hand sanitiser before and after using pay machines to minimise their risk of catching or spreading the virus.