Scarborough's park and rides to close during winter

Scarborough’s two park and ride sites are set to close out of season following a review into the service.

Scarborough's park and rides will close during winter.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive will next month be asked to approve the plans to close the Filey Road and Seamer Road sites between November 1 and March 31 in a bid to save money.

The out of season closure was the preferred option of the borough’s county councillors and also the public following a consultation, other options included the closure of one or both of the sites.

The sites, which both hold 600 vehicles and run a bus service into Scarborough every 15 minutes through the day seven days a week, are costing the county council a combined £473,000 a year to operate.

On June 25, the county’s executive will be asked to approve the out of season closure for the sites.

A total of 560 people responded to a consultation on what should be done with the sites, with 58.2% of people backing the out of season closure.

The second most popular option was the closure of the Seamer Road site, which was favoured by just under 20% of respondents.

In a report prepared for the county council’s Business and Environmental Services Corporate Director and Executive Members meeting last week Ian Fielding, the authority’s assistant director for Transport, Waste and Countryside Services says there are plans to use the Seamer Road site as parking in the offseason to generate extra revenue.

There is also the flexibility to open the sites ahead of schedule to allow for years with an early Easter holiday, he added.

Figures prepared for the county show that in 2011-12 a total of 238,694 passengers used the Seamer Road site but that fell to 124,786 in 2017-18. The number of passengers using the Filey Road site also fell dramatically over the same period with 147,137 fewer people using it in 2017-18 compared to 2011-12 when the figure stood at 294,468.

Earlier this year, members of the county’s Scarborough Area Committee bemoaned the site of “ghost buses” from the park and ride sites travelling around the town with no passengers on them and backed the closure during the winter months.

Speaking in March, Cllr David Chance (Con) said: “Like everyone else, I got sick to death of seeing the ghost buses it really is just money down the drain.”

He was backed by fellow committee member Cllr Tony Randerson (Lab) who added: “I didn’t need a report to determine that with ghost buses running around the borough that the park and ride system wasn’t working. It’s deceased, dead."