TRADERS and local councillors have welcomed the decision to reject a proposal to start charging for parking in Marine Drive during the winter months.
The decision was taken by Scarborough Council’s cabinet earlier this week and if it had been approved would have meant drivers having to fork out £1 to park there, on days between November and February.
It had sparked fears that businesses in both North and South Bays would be adversely affected because visitors would be put off from visiting the area.
John Senior, the chairman of the South Bay Traders Association, said his members were delighted that common sense had prevailed. “We felt very strongly, particularly in the winter time, any further restrictions were not in the interests of tourism. We will continue discussing with the council on how we can work together.”
The proposal had caused a public outcry after it was revealed in late-2011, and Cllr Subash Sharma, who represents the North Bay ward, handed a 4,241-signature petition against the charges in at the Town Hall earlier this month.
Ron Ford, who owns the Oasis cafe where some of the signatures were collected, said the petition proved very popular with customers.
He added: “Everybody signed it who came into Oasis – there was no forcing them it was just left on the counter. We would have been affected no doubt about it.”
The move was expected to have netted the council £15,000 in extra revenue.
The proposal has been made for the past three years and Cllrs Janet Jefferson and Peter Popple have both opposed it each time.
Cllr Jefferson said there would have been a detrimental effect on the local economy. She added: “We’ve worked exceptionally hard to create a year round economy. Businesses would close. Free parking encourages people to come here. It proves that people can put their point forward and be listened to.”
And Cllr Popple said: “I am extremely pleased. I think they’ve reached the right decision. It would have cost them more to monitor the area and empty the machines.”