People living in the borough of Scarborough will be given a discount in council-owned car parks in a bid to encourage residents to make better use of town centres.
Scarborough Council’s cabinet today (Tuesday) agreed on the move, which will see a “virtual permit” created to give residents a 20% saving on parking charges.
The cost of parking for non-residents will be increased to offset the cost of the scheme and the borough’s free winter parking initiative will be scrapped also.
The virtual permit replaces a planned physical permit that would have cost residents an annual fee of £10.
However, groups including Scarborough Hospitality Association and the South Bay Traders Association spoke out against the plan to charge £1 for 24 hours parking between November and the end of February.
At today’s meeting members of the authority’s cabinet welcomed the introduction of the new permit.
Cllr Helen Mallory (Con), said the people in her ward of Seamer had told her they supported the council’s stance.
She said: “[Residents] have told me it will encourage them to come into the town centre now they can park at a discounted rate.
“To quote one of the residents ‘tourism is very important to the borough but we live here all year round’, so I think it’s important to encourage our residents who do live here all year round to have a discount so they can come and use the shops 52 weeks a year.”
Her fellow cabinet member Cllr John Nock (Con) added: “Cabinet did want to make sure it made the scheme far more attractive to residents and it has done that. We now have a scheme that we can be proud of and that we are not charging residents for the permit at all.”
With regards to the winter fee, he told the meeting that nearby Bridlington charges £2.90 a day, compared to the proposed £1 in Scarborough.
During the consultation process, the South Bay Traders Association said the winter charge would cause “untold damage” to the borough’s reputation. Independent councillor Janet Jefferson, who previously called the winter parking charge “ludicrous”, spoke at the meeting to ask the councillors to reconsider.
Cllr Bill Chatt (independent), however, said the parking scheme would benefit people who lived in the villages in the borough.
He added: “Why shouldn’t the residents of the borough, who pay their council tax, get a little something back?
“Okay, there is going to be a cost that it is going to cost £1 to park all day in a car park which was free, but what is £1?
“If people find this quite offensive [they could] go somewhere like Leeds where it’s £14 or £15 a day. It is horrendous. People come here for a lot of reasons, it is not about avoiding car parking charges.”
The scheme will come into force across the borough in January.