A stitch up to end all stitch ups?

Just thinking about the P&R scheme, £2.8 million (now suddenly inflated to £4 million, Whitby Gazette 16 December) to provide 250 spaces on tarmac plus another 200 on grass – which will probably be totally unusable after prolonged heavy rain, which is not unusual in summer in Whitby.

Does this figure seem to be financially viable ie is it value for money? £4 million pounds to provide, at best, 450 car parking spaces?

Then there is the £330,000 which has already been spent, the only tangible evidence of which, is the now world famous ‘Bollard which never Rises’ on St Anne’s Staithe.

There will be no overnight parking so the P&R scheme will only cater for day trippers.

The entire east side of Whitby less The Ropery, has been allocated 63 spaces – these are the spaces on lower Church Street, outside The Fleece, and these will be permit only spaces, so east side residents will have to pay for a chance to park their cars, with no guaranteed space and very little chance of a space at all.

One entire Stakeholder Steering Group was selected by Cllr Kenyon – a member of the Whitby and District Tourism Association, she also selected the Chairs of the other two groups, there were two members of the various tourist associations on each group, plus people from the Whitby Hospitality Association, in addition, other members, such as Cllr Carson were put down as representing WTC but they are also members of the W&DTA.

Some say that the tourist associations were over represented on these groups, others call it a complete carve up.

What this means is that the east side residents will be prevented from using all of the parking which they are able to use at present, on the west side, they will also be charged for a parking space which will not exist, on the east side.

The parking scheme under the P&R is exactly the same as the scheme, involving the consultation process which cost over £15,000 and which was rejected by the east side residents in 2006, the one which had a picture on the front of the consultation document, of Church Street, which was captioned ‘parking on The Ropery’. Experts? Professionals? God help us.

The 110 members of the W&DTA who responded to the questionnaire sent to them by their association, said that they needed 700 spaces, these are the prime parking spaces on the west side.

These spaces will be given to them for the use of their customers, which is why they are not complaining about the P&R car park closing at 7pm.

The failure to provide overnight parking is lunacy in itself, surely what Whitby needs is more overnight parking, we do not want to encourage even more day trippers; long stay customers are what the hotels and B&B owners want, but of course they will get these, as they will have all of the overnight parking right outside their premises, once the east side residents have been cleared out.

Meanwhile, in the words of Nick West, ‘someone has got to pay for the park and ride’ this means us, the residents, not bad for some areas of Whitby which will be allocated fair amounts of parking spaces, but the east side residents are getting the rawest of raw deals under this scheme - 63 spaces for over 400 buildings, including the masses of holiday cottages, the shops, the B&B premises and the hotels, bear in mind also, that the owners of commercial premises will be able to apply for multiple car parking permits.

The resident’s representative on the east side steering group was Sandra Turner, a nice enough person, and a dedicated Councillor, but not a resident of the east side if my memory serves me right, the Chair of the east side steering group was Cllr Clegg a member of the Captain Cook Tourist Association and a shopkeeper.

So who benefits?

Shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants, fish and chip shops etc via the P&R car park which will provide them with perhaps, another, 500 -1000 customers per day, up to 6-7pm. when the P&R car park closes.

The Hoteliers and B&B owners, who will get all of the 24 hour, car parking spaces currently used by the residents of the east side.

Who loses?

All of the residents of Whitby, who will have to fund this farce, but mainly the residents of the east side, who will have virtually no car parking facilities.

The streets will be even more congested by day trippers, there will be an increased need for street cleaning, public toilet provision, and police supervision, all of which will have to be paid for by the residents (business rates go to the government) noise, violence, delivery vehicles, congestion of the streets and general inconvenience will increase.

On street car parking which is currently free, will have to be paid for by the residents, to provide the money to finance the Park and Ride, which will only be of benefit to the commercial sector.

Some say that this is a stitch up to end all stitch ups.

What do residents of Whitby, who might not have been aware of these facts say?

Richard Ineson, Church Street, Whitby by email