Independent Harrogate calls for free parking in lockdown to be kept indefinitely

Independent Harrogate, a pressure group formed last summer which now includes more than 200 Harrogate businesses, said more action to support the Harrogate economy was needed now, irrespective of any easing of lockdown restrictions - and free parking should be retained indefinitely

Friday, 8th May 2020, 9:22 am
Updated Friday, 8th May 2020, 9:28 am
Some of the original Independent Harrogate supporters gathered in James Street when the group was first formed in 2019.

And the group, which is encouraging local businesses to work together during the crisis as a “supportive community”, is planning to issue its own set of guidelines to support Harrogate traders.

IH’s Nicholas Richardson said: “Most businesses are still in a battle for survival.

He said: “We still don’t know quite where or when it might end, and normal activities resume.

“The knock-on effect on employment both within companies and externally, for the companies/individuals that supply them, will undoubtedly be life-changing for many.

“We would like to see our local council leaders lead us through this crisis, and use every tool at their disposal to mitigate the affects.

“This makes us consider that any previous objective to build expensive infrastructure needs postponing such as cycle lanes in Harrogate.

“The focus should now be on what immediate changes can be made to support the businesses that serve their communities on so many different levels.

“As part of this, all parking charges should be suspended indefinitely.”

William Woods, a founder member of IH, said the economic effects of lockdown on Harrogate threatened to be significant.

Mr Woods said: In due course I believe IH will be putting together a considered view of the road map for the future of the town but the seriousness of the economic effects of the towns wellbeing should not be dismissed or taken lightly.”

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