Concerns over late night car park opening

tis   West Park Multi Storey Car Park.  (130215M5a)
tis West Park Multi Storey Car Park. (130215M5a)

Searching for enough small change to pay the parking meter could become a thing of the past for Harrogate motorists, if council proposals get given the go-ahead.

Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) wants to install cashless parking machines and electronic parking permits at all car parks in Harrogate.

In a report to go before North Yorkshire County Councils Harrogate area committee, HBC says the move would: “Reflect the newer technologies available so the customer has more choice and the council can take advantage of more efficient payment methods.”

HBC is also proposing to change West Park multi-storey car park into a short stay car park and offer overnight car parking, remaining open until 9.30pm.

They say these changes will make the car park more convenient for customers at the new Travelodge hotel and PureGym due to open in 2014.

Oxford Terrace resident Della Rebours is not happy with the idea of extended opening hours, fearing the multi-storey car park will attract anti-social behaviour.

She said: “I am not happy about that all. If anything the car park should be accessed only by patrons of Travel lodge on an evening, that’s what I believed was going to happen.

“Previously when it was open after 7.15pm we had people standing on the top of the car park chucking bricks. Those are the type of incidents that will happen again if it’s opened late again.”

Tower Street shop owner Helen Nash said she did not agree with the council that the multi-storey was underused.

She said: “Myself and other traders in Tower Street welcome any short-term parking in the multi storey, while there are some spaces outside our shops, additional parking is welcome.

“The redevelopment of the old bowling alley into a hotel will transform Tower Street but it is only a narrow, one-way road so traffic movements and parking restrictions will have to be closely monitored.”

Other changes to off-street car parking in the borough include extending pay and display finish times at Chapel Street and Fisher Street car park in Knaresborough to 6pm all week, in keeping with Harrogate car parks, and renaming the Victoria Grove car park in Ripon, Cathedral car park.

The Ripon Improvement Partnership says this will make the car park sound more attractive and assist in promoting the city.

In Pateley Bridge, the cost of off-street parking permits for residents is set to rise from £16 per year to £60 but the shopper’s permit with a two hour limit will remain £12 per year.

What do you think of the proposals? Email ackrill.news@ypn.co.uk.