Letter: Parking charges - Fees levied help to manage traffic

The proposal to introduce on-street parking charges in Harrogate town centre on Sundays and evenings is expected to come to the executive of NYCC at its next meeting on February 2 and a decision will be taken then.

Friday, 29th January 2016, 12:00 pm
Coun Don Mackenzie

The latest position regarding the proposed changes to on-street parking charges (viz to introduce Sunday and evening parking restrictions) in Harrogate town centre was detailed in a prominent article in last week’ Advertiser, following discussions I had with reporter Nina Swift earlier in the week.

In view of the fact that I will be involved in a decision on this matter next month, and since the agenda papers of the executive meeting on February 2 have not yet been published, I will comment no further on that subject.

I will however respond to wider points regarding what happens in the rest of the county.

There are on-street parking charges in Scarborough and Northallerton, and, of course, in the city of York, which is in the county but not within the boundaries of NYCC.

The remaining market towns listed are much smaller than Harrogate and their town centres have very limited on-street parking spaces.

The need to manage traffic flows in those towns is negligible - at least up to now, but that could change in the near future. Car parking charges off-street apply almost everywhere.

The situation in Scarborough is also quite different because that town has two park and ride facilities provided by NYCC in which parking is free but the bus journey is charged for, on a pro-person basis.

Harrogate is the largest urban settlement in the area covered by NYCC and, without doubt, has the greatest need for effective traffic management.

I stress that all on-street parking charges are levied for traffic management purposes only, and there are still plenty of streets close to the town centre where free, time-limited parking spaces are available using a parking disc.

I am a North Yorkshire County Councillor, representing a Harrogate division, and serve the whole county as the NYCC executive member for highways, passenger transport etc.

That is not to say that I do not have my home town’s interests at heart at all times.

Coun Don Mackenzie

North Yorkshire 
County Council