'Think again' plea over new Harrogate parking restrictions in town centre

ndependent Harrogate is calling on North Yorkshire County Council to think again about its new parking restrictions in the heart of Harrogate town centre, saying the town should instead be showing people it has reopened for business.

By Graham Chalmers
Monday, 18th May 2020, 2:39 pm
Supporters of Independent Harrogate in James Street in Harrogate in a photograph taken before lockdown was first introduced.
Supporters of Independent Harrogate in James Street in Harrogate in a photograph taken before lockdown was first introduced.

The local pressure group's warning follows North Yorkshire County Council introduction over the weekend of 'no parking' rules on both sides of James Street and one side only on Albert Street and Commercial Street, which are expected to last until the end of September at least.

A statement from Independent Harrogate said: "There is no doubt we are living in very challenging times especially for our local authorities and businesses.

"Keeping everyone safe by following the government's guidelines, which includes social distancing, is of paramount importance and should be adhered to.

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"Independent Harrogate represents nearly 200 businesses in Harrogate and we are very disappointed that Richard Flinton and NYCC have not had any discussions with us before applying parking restrictions in the heart of Harrogate?s town centre.

"Harrogate town centre was in a fragile state before Covid 19. The local authority should be consulting and working closely with businesses if the town is to recover, especially through what will undoubtedly be the impending severe recession.

"The government are encouraging us to cycle, walk and drive whilst avoiding public transport, which if you live locally should be encouraged.

"Additionally a large part of Harrogate?s economy comes from visitors from all over the North of England and beyond, they generally travel by car, as do some workers, so reducing car parking sends out the wrong message.

"Independent Harrogate feels we should be encouraging visitors to the town, not discouraging them if businesses are to survive. We are all working hard behind closed doors implementing procedures that will keep our customers safe, ready for when the government allow restrictions to be relaxed.

"Harrogate needs to send out a message that we are open for business and will be pleased to welcome you.

"We feel the new restrictions could be dangerous for pedestrians too! For example, the parking bays on James Street and Albert Street are ipso facto - a pavement. These areas are full of pot holes and Appy Parking road-pods, which may be extremely hazardous for disabled and partially sighted visitors and customers.

"We would urge NYCC to think again about their recent parking restrictions and work with us, together we can work out how to encourage visitor and customers back into the town centre and not discourage them.

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