Letter: Has park and ride enhanced life in Whitby?

people queueing for the park and ride
people queueing for the park and ride

As we now come to the end of the season with the brilliant Goth weekend finale, I should like to give an overview of the second season of parking and riding in Whitby.

Firstly though, let’s go back to 2014 with the newly introduced, controversial scheme, which Whitby councillor Joe Plant and MP Robert Goodwill had their pictures taken outside.

We were told the future was bright, the people of Whitby had voted to have this facility and regime introduced. Indeed regime change has become a very political word in all our lives.

The scheme was delivered using £3 million-plus of tax payers money.

However the scheme got off to a very shaky start, not opening on schedule and providing portable toilets for visitors after their long car journeys.

The bus service stopped at 5pm, this forced people to leave the town prematurely at 4pm to prevent their cars from being impounded until the following morning.

The new parking restrictions quickly took effect, overnight the North Promendade, where meters were newly installed became an empty ghost town. People simply moved their cars to other parking areas.

This had two effects, to dramatically reduce the footfall on Skinner Street, Flowergate and all the associated streets.

The second was to affect residents in streets which were just outside the zone, i.e, Stakesby, Spring Vale etc where the cars migrated to.

At the end of the 2014 season people began to realise that although the car park closed, the SBC car parks became free and the meters were covered up, if you were in the zone the restrictions were to affect you and your family all year round.

Now two years into the scheme we are finding out more and more about the true economic impact and mismanagement of our economy.

We still do not know after writing to highways, NYCC, SBC and our local councillors, how much operating profit was generated from the scheme in 2014, money which by law has to be reinvested into the town and not used for general expenditure.

We know that Parking control notices have risen to £80,000 from £17,000 on just 20 streets.

It has taken two years to get a consultation to amend parking restrictions, now we discover that there simply is not enough parking in town.

Where is the economic planning for our town, if our elected representatives are inclined to pass comment “that there isn’t an issue”, yet residents, businesses and visitors are being adversely affected, maybe we too should begin to look at regime change.

I leave you all with a thought to mull over. Has the new park and ride plus changes to parking improved and enhanced your personal life in Whitby?

Peter Croft

Sandpiper Guest House