PARKING charges and controls will be introduced in Whitby should the town’s renewed bid for a park and ride scheme be successful.
Up to 500 spaces which are currently free of charge on the West Cliff, North Promenade and at Sandsend will become pay and display.
Other streets in the centre of town, particularly on the West Cliff and the Ropery, will see permits being introduced for residents and businesses.
Transport chiefs say this is necessary in order to encourage people to use the park and ride but the changes are likely to anger locals who already struggle to park outside their homes.
Without the introduction of fees and charges the department for transport, which is ploughing £4.5m into the scheme, will not progress the bid.
Andrew Bainbridge, from the North Yorkshire County Council local transport team, said: “Parking controls and charges have to go ahead. The Department for Transport require this to get people to use the scheme.
“The bottom line is we can’t have one without the other.”
His comments came at a meeting of North Yorkshire County Council where further details of the park and ride bid were revealed.
It was also revealed that the results of a consultation about the charges carried out last year when the original bid was being progressed were never reported back to councillors.
However, Whitby’s local councillors were fully in favour of this last ditch bid and were unanimously backed by other members at last Wednesday’s Yorkshire Coast and Moors County Area Committee meeting.
Coun Jane Kenyon who represents the Mayfield ward said: “It is a joint bid with the National Park Authority but they prevented us getting it is the first place. It shows how far the National Park and Whitby have come in realising the impact the park and ride will have.
“We owe it to our constituents, residents and future generations that we give this our best shot. If we don’t we will go on trying to put a quart into a pint pot.”
Streonshahl Councillor Joe Plant added: “If you look at all the elements and what we get out of it it will help a lot of areas and the rural areas around Whitby.
“This is the last chance saloon but if we aren’t successful I hope we aren’t going to sit back and do nothing. Have we got a plan B for the problem we are having with parking in the Whitby area.
“It is a valid question because that it what residents are vasking me. Going back and saying we are doing nothing is not an option for me.”
The new bid, which has to be submitted by 24 February, includes the provision of a summertime park and ride from land off the A171 into Whitby from 8am; a weekend and school holiday hopper to the “honey pot” tourist locations along the Esk Valley; enhancements to the Sunday and early morning services on the Esk Valley Railway; a Smartcard public transport ticket giving unlimited travel; electric bike hire and improvements to local rights of way.