Hoteliers and guesthouse owners on Whitby’s West Cliff have voiced their discontent regarding parking restrictions that mean they have to pay to park all year round.
In order to park in the town’s central parking zone for more than two hours it is necessary to display a residents permit or a visitor scratch card – both of which must be paid for.
This is despite the fact that from November 1 to March 31 it is free to park throughout other parts of the town, including some council-owned car parks and the closure of Whitby’s Park and Ride during this time.
Peter Croft, owner of Sandpiper House B&B in Belle Vue Terrace, thinks it is “unfair” that people within the zone are being “penalised”.
“Guests at hotels at the end of my street on North Promenade can park for free for five months so my business is at an economic disadvantage and I feel aggrieved,” he added.
“Why are we paying all year round to fund a Park and Ride scheme that doesn’t even operate for the whole year?”
Graham Simpson of Discovery Accomodation in Silver Street described the parking situation as a “joke”.
He added: “I don’t think this scheme has made any difference to the number of cars in the town but what it has done is put a burden on businesses.
“I’ve estimated that the amount of time my staff will spend explaining the parking situation to guests and administering permits will cost me £8,000 per year.”
Borough and County Councillor Joe Plant said that the parking restrictions had been outlined from the outset of plans for the Park and Ride.
“I can understand the frustration, but all of these measures were made clear during initial consultation,” he said.
“The majority of people in the town wanted the Park and Ride scheme and I believe in democracy. We cannot just look after one group of people, we have to think of the majority.”
Coun Plant was however keen to stress that the concerns of local residents would be addressed. He added: “Assessing the Park and Ride is still an ongoing process and any feedback received during the winter period will be taken into consideration when the Yorkshire Coast and Moors County Area Committee meets in January.”