PRICE cuts have been proposed for some Scarborough town centre car parks – as winter charges are planned for Marine Drive parking.
In a report of recommendations for 2012/13 car parking charges, Scarborough Council has outlined a 50p an hour reduction at some of its car parks.
However, also included in the shake-up are plans to introduce parking charges over winter months on Marine Drive.
The moves are being proposed in a bid to make the authority’s parking “more competitive” in light of a predicted £430,000 shortfall in parking revenue.
After identifying itself as the most expensive provider of short stay parking in Scarborough, the council is planning to cut charges at the following car parks; Falconers Road, Friarsway, King Street, North Street, St Nicholas Parade, St Thomas Street Upper and Lower, Victoria Road, and Castle Road in July and August only.
Under plans an hour’s parking will be reduced from £2 to £1.50, with a further 50p reduction for each following hour, up until six hours which could be cut from £6 to £5.
However, while the cuts will be welcomed, controversial plans to bring in charges on Marine Drive between November and February have already been met with concerns.
The plans outline a £1 charge for one hour, with £2 charged for up to six hours, and 24 hours costing £3.
While the council looks to capitalise on the 20,000 vehicles parking in Marine Drive between November and February, the authority’s own Health and Wellbeing Committee has objected to the idea.
At the committee’s last meeting members felt the move “would be a negative move and would discourage people from parking on the Marine Drive during winter months.”
Brian Bennett, head of Tourism and Culture at Scarborough Council, said; “The council’s overall budget strategy is heavily reliant upon sustaining parking income, which is currently approaching £4.6 million per annum. In order to reflect this position, whilst supporting Council’s objectives, parking charges and tariffs are annually reviewed.
“The proposals for changes in fees and charges across the whole range of car parks have been carefully considered and measured in a way to try and increase the competitiveness of town centre short stay car parks whilst balancing the longer stays on the outer car parks, in an attempt to encourage longer stays in those areas.”
Mr Bennett said parking income had been hit by a “significant number of factors outside our control” including the increasing popularity of the new Park and Ride sites, increased fuel charges, the economy and the weather.
While Park and Ride passenger numbers have increased by 75,000 over two years, between April and August, the number of cars driving into the town has dropped by 46,770 over the same period.
The recommendations are being made in a report to go before the Cabinet on Tuesday, which if approved will see the changes to charges come in to effect from March 1 next year.
While short-stay parking charges could be reduced, price hikes are recommended for long-stay car parks.
The following car parks will see 50p rises from two hours onwards, with 24-hour parking rising from £5 to £6; Castle Road, except July and August, North Terrace, William Street, and Westwood.
The report also recommends almost doubling coach parking for the first time since 2008.
If approved the daily charge for coaches on car parks that allow coach parking will soar from £5.50 a day to £10 a day, with the exception of Weaponness Valley Road which is proposed to remain at £5.50.
Increases are also planned for permits on off-street car parks, which will go up at the rate of inflation, 4.5 per cent, and rounded to the nearest whole pound.
For reaction to the proposals see tomorrow’s Scarborough Evening News.