Park and ride: The figures don’t add up

The financial viability of controversial parking measures being put forward for Whitby has been called into question with over £70,000 of the income for the scheme set to come from parking fines.

Figures released by North Yorkshire County Council show there will be a deficit of over £200,000 compared with the income it will generate.

And, a further set of figures show money will be made from the parking management measures proposed for 11 different zones in the town centre - much to the anger of local residents and businesses.

Setting up park and ride will cost £2.8 million, including the purchase of the land and the building needed. A new roundabout at £500,000 makes the total cost £3.3 million.

The county council is stumping up £500,000 with the rest coming from the government via the Whitby and Esk Valley Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

According to its own figures it will cost £382,000 to run park and ride covering the bus around the town, a hopper service to the Esk valley, site operation and publicity yet it will only generate £171,000 from fares, leaving a deficit of £211,000.

However, the parking measures, estimated to cost around £115,000 to establish will make £396,000 - a profit of £281,000.

Parking fines will generate £71,000, pay and display charges £290,000 and parking permits and scratch cards residents have to fork out for will make £35,000.

Charles Forgan, treasurer of the Captain Cook Museum, pressed the county council for the breakdown in figures.

He told the Gazette: “What to make of the figures? I don’t really know. The costs of the Park and Ride are more than double the income, not a good business to be in.

“It does not seem that park and ride is going to achieve that much relief for traffic in the town. Does the relatively small relief justify a very comprehensive and complicated pay and display system on the town which restricts Whitby’s free and easy way of life?”