Report highlights town’s parking crisis

kna. Members of the public come to see the first Knaresborough Farmers Market. 090809GS1j.
kna. Members of the public come to see the first Knaresborough Farmers Market. 090809GS1j.

The age-old problem of parking in Knaresborough topped the list of negatives in the town benchmarking report commissioned by Renaissance Knaresborough.

The report by Action for Market Towns (AMT), which was unveiled before Knaresborough Town Council’s annual meeting, shows that parking was deemed as a key issue by the majority of the 420 people who filled in the Town Users survey.

Maurice Bardon, president of Knaresborough Chamber of Trade, said: “This report isn’t telling us anything new; the Chamber of Trade has been calling for better parking for 20 years.

“It’s a good report to have, but what we need now is for Harrogate Borough Council to find some money somewhere to improve car-parking.”

The survey found that on market days just five per cent of parking provision in the town is vacant – significantly lower than the national small towns average and the lowest of all the towns surveyed by AMT.

Town councillor and chair of Renaissance Knaresborough Andrew Willoughby said: “I’m not sure if every car-parking space has been counted.

“There are other car-parks close to the centre of town that shoppers use which weren’t counted.”

Mike King from AMT suggested that signage should be reviewed as visitors to the town, like himself, have difficulty finding car-parks, particularly long-stay parking.

The report reveals that the town’s short-stay parking makes up 65 per cent of the parking provision, compared with 49 per cent nationally.

Just 60 per cent of parking provision is based in car-parks, much of which is in York Road car-park, which Mr King reported had a “poor physical appearance.”

Despite the difficulty in finding parking for more than four hours, 46 per cent of shoppers in Knaresborough had travelled more than a 30-minute drive, compared with the national average of 16 per cent.

Andy Grinter, secretary of Renaissance Knaresborough, said: “The facts and figures in the report support what we have thought all along.

“We have yet to make any certain plans for the future and are keen to hear from new people about their ideas.”

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