Letter: Where are the parking benefits in Whitby?

Whitby's park and ride
Whitby's park and ride

We are now in the third year of the park and ride and associated parking restrictions put in place to support the park and ride.

Unfortunately the problems that were introduced with the new parking restrictions which were supposed to support the economic benefit of the town are still causing disruption and upheaval in both residents’ and business owners’ lives.

In the beginning, we were informed that the new charging would support the park and ride operation in Whitby, we were furthermore reassured that if there was a surplus the money was ring fenced for new transport infrastructure projects in Whitby.

Why? Because it is Whitby residents and businesses which are having to buy permits to park in the zone, so it is only right that the surplus should be spent in the town.

In the autumn of 2015 North Yorkshire County Council was instructed by the Moors and Coast committee held at Sneaton Castle to consult with locals and discover if they wanted the removal of the parking restrictions over the winter period when the park and ride is closed and the meters and off street council car parks are free.

The result was emphatic from the electorate to scrap the system in winter.

So where do we stand currently? Well, in the first two years of operation the scheme generated a £55,000 surplus.

This money we were assured was to be reinvested in Whitby, after months of questioning I have discovered that the money has been spent on...

Subsidising concessionary fares in the borough and used to support Scarborough’s park and ride scheme!

Furthermore businesses on Skinner Street/Flowergate were hit with a drop in footfall.

The businesses asked that the West Cliff’s park and ride bus was rerouted from Crescent Gardens and Crescent Avenue to the Esplanade and use an existing bus stop on Belle Vue Terrace which would allow people to walk through the shops spending some money.

We were informed this could not happen as the extra 500 yards the bus would travel would use more diesel.

However, I have recently discovered that the surplus money has been used to pay for additional costs of the buses running from the park and ride.

Where is the support for local businesses which were supposed to receive some economic benefit from the scheme?

I ask why the motion of the removal of winter restrictions unanimously has not been implemented.

Our councillors reply Scarborough Borough Council is setting up a committee to look into the matter.

We voted for scrapping the scheme; why are they not implementing the wishes of the people.

Peter Croft

Sandpiper House