Taxi! Harrogate hotel offers to foot taxi bill for diners to crackdown on drink driving

The Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Nick Brown, welcomes the taxi initiative set up at the West Park Hotel by Provenance Inns director, Michael Ibbotson.
The Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Nick Brown, welcomes the taxi initiative set up at the West Park Hotel by Provenance Inns director, Michael Ibbotson.

A Harrogate hotel is offering to pay the taxi fare for diners as part of a new initiative to tackle drink driving.

The West Park Hotel is trialling a special scheme to encourage diners to take taxis and leave the car at home by deducting the cost of a taxi to the hotel from the restaurant bill.

The initiative has been backed by the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, and the Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Nick Brown.

Hotel Manager Nathan George said: “We know that the great majority of people take a very responsible attitude to drink-driving and, as a leader in the Harrogate hospitality sector, responsible drinking is important to us.

“But equally we know from our customers that sometimes it is hard to choose who should be the “designated driver”, particularly when they are coming to dine for a family celebration or a wedding anniversary and want to be able to enjoy some champagne or wine with their meal.

“Finding alternatives to driving can be a problem, particularly in the rural surroundings of Harrogate, so we wanted to make a contribution to solving the dilemma.”

With this in mind, the West Park is offering free taxi rides to the hotel until November 30 this year, with up to £20 reimbursement deducted from the restaurant bill on production of a valid taxi receipt.

Mrs Mulligan said: “The police arrested 29 people in Harrogate in June alone during its summer crackdown on drink and drug driving and the number of arrests across the area was

higher than it was for the same time last year.

“Tackling drink and drug driving is a problem we need to tackle head on. It needs a community-wide approach and for us all to do our bit. That’s why I’m pleased the West Park

has found a new and innovative way of helping to keep local people safe and hope their initiative is a big success.”

Coun Brown added: “Businesses who instigate such initiatives demonstrate a commitment to improving life in Harrogate for the whole community and that is always to be welcomed. We

live in a wonderful place and we need to work together to ensure it continues to improve.”