Letter: Sunday Parking - NYCC using town as a cash cow

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In the Harrogate Advertiser dated June 16, 2016, the following was reported in Transport Talk by Coun Don Mackenzie, NYCC Councillor for Highways:

“Car parks had one major advantage over disc parking – drivers could pay to park for as long as they wished whilst disc parking was time-restricted” and “There are suggestions that free disc parking on Sundays and evenings would be the solution to managing the traffic. Apart from taking us back to the unsatisfactory arrangements of 20 years ago, the costs of new signage and of rigorous enforcement would have to be met by the council taxpayer”.

In the Harrogate Management Review Report of the corporate director – business and environmental services August 16, 2016 for the NYCC executive committee meeting of that date, the following are noted:

10.2 Free disc parking would not redress the balance between on and off street parking charges.

12.1 Capital costs to replace signs throughout the pay and display area is estimated to be £20,000 to be funded from The Highways Integrated Transported Capital Programme.

12.2 The staffing resource and revenue costs associated with the advertising and implementation of a traffic regulation order is being accommodated within the existing Highways budget.

13.3 Section 122 of the 1984 Act necessitates that a decision on the imposition of parking charges on the highway needs to be based on securing “the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic (including pedestrians) and the provision of suitable and adequate parking facilities on and off the highway”.

The Sunday parking study that compared behaviour with weekday rules was a futile waste of time – there is nothing to be proved by the measurement of motorists on average overstaying in Oxford Street by 20 minutes over the weekday rule when they are simply behaving in accordance with the “no restrictions” Sunday rule.

Coun Mackenzie would like these motorists to pay to use off-street parking and for those who wish the convenience of being closer to the town centre, to be charged for the privilege – both options being revenue generating.

In addition, NYCC are using Harrogate as a cash cow by implementing higher parking charges than in other parts of the county, for example Northallerton.

The result of actions at the Oatlands junction, Cheltenham Parade and at Station Parade brings into question the ability of NYCC to fulfill the requirements of the Highways Act.

Catherine Alderson

Harrogate