Winter parking charges ‘could put tourists off Whitby’

Cars parked on the pavement on the usually quiet Stakesby Road during Regatta. Monday 21 August. Whitby Regatta 2017. Picture: Ceri Oakes w173102t
Cars parked on the pavement on the usually quiet Stakesby Road during Regatta. Monday 21 August. Whitby Regatta 2017. Picture: Ceri Oakes w173102t

The borough council are currently looking at introducing winter parking charges on off-street car parks in Whitby.

The decision has been called in by an independent councillor as there is a school of thought that introduction of charges could damage the winter economy by reducing the number of visitors coming to the town.

I would ask the scrutiny panel to look very closely at the whole parking scheme in Whitby as it is shambolic and not unified.

Allow me to give some examples:

In Scarborough visitors can purchase from accommodation providers a scratch card which allows them to park on a meter all day for a fixed price, this is not available in Whitby, and after dealing with three portfolio holders in the last year none can give an explanation as to why we are treated differently.

Whitby’s parking zone operates all year 9am-7pm.

Scarborough’s operates 9am-5pm and 12pm-5pm on Sundays - why?

Off street car parking and meters in Whitby between November and March are free but businesses and residents still have to buy permits and scratch cards to use the zone, even though the park and ride is closed.

If winter car parking charges are introduced they would be at odds with the parking meters, which are currently free, so would all the meters become chargeable as well.

If we find ourselves with chargeable winter off street car parking and meters, presumably everyone would park for free in the zone for three hours causing more congestion and angst for residents in the zone.

Finally, after paying £30 to park your vehicle near where you live, we are advised that to get a discounted off street parking ticket we would have to purchase another permit for £10 (currently, remember the on street permits have increased from £5 to £30 per year per vehicle in five years).

The last time a consultation was held with residents three years ago 75% who voted requested the restriction were to be lifted between November-March, I fear this situation will only get worse unless someone grasps the nettle and tackles the whole scheme.

Peter Croft

Sandpiperhouse, Whitby