Councillors set to back park and ride bid

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COUNCILLORS are set to agree to the details of a last ditch bid to get a park and ride scheme in Whitby.

At an executive meeting of North Yorkshire County Council being held today details of the bid will be put to the members before the bid for a multi-million pound scheme is made to the Department for Transport next month.

A decision on whether Whitby’s bid is successful is due to be made in June and work would start within the same financial year.

Local councillors have urged for the scheme to be taken forward after original plans were shelved in 2010 when the Government withdrew funding for the plans but last year money became available through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

It will cost £270,000 per year to run the scheme but it is hoped that after 2015 these costs will be met by park and ride fares and the associated street parking controls and charges which will be introduced in Whitby.

There will be a Hopper service running on weekends and school holidays between the National Park and the Esk Valley Railway calling at the park and ride, Whitby bus station, Ruswarp, Sleights, Grosmont, Egton Bridge, Lealhom and Danby.

This is set to cost £90,000 per annum and again it is hoped that after 2015 the scheme will be self funded but if it isn’t sustainable or viable the service will be removed.

The report being put to councillors says: “This is an experimental service which will aim to operate as a visitor experience rather than a traditional local bus service, and as such patronage levels are difficult to predict.

Proposals for the electric bike hire network to encourage people to use an alternative to the car for getting around Whitby and the Esk Valley will cost £120,000 and improvements to the public rights of way will cost £240,000 and will be delivered by the National Park Authority and a further £280,000 will be spent on travel awareness and promotional activities.

If this bid is successful then the detailed design will be refined further.

The report adds: “The main aim of the Whitby and Esk Valley Tourism Economy Package is to address traffic congestion and other transport capacity issues which constrain the growth of the tourist economy in the area.”