Vandals and thieves hit car parking sites

There is a pay and display car park at Goathland. (Picture: Richard Ponter)
There is a pay and display car park at Goathland. (Picture: Richard Ponter)

Vandalism and thefts of cash from parking machines is costing the North York Moors National Park valuable income.

The growing problem has been highlighted in a report by the park authority.

The North York Moors National Park runs a car park at Thornton-le-Dale.

The North York Moors National Park runs a car park at Thornton-le-Dale.

As a result, a task group has been set up to explore ways of combating the issue, the park’s commercial properties manager Andrew Muir said.

In a report to the authority members, he said the park operates 24 car parking sites and seven toilet blocks in remote parts of the vast area which is visited by millions of tourists every year.

Before pay machines were introduced the car parks were manned by a warden who also cleaned the toilets.

Mr Muir said technology meant they were replaced by the machines, but they have aged, resulting in lost revenue.

He said: “New technology has opened up new online charging mechanisms though the actual operability of these in remote parks of the park needs top be established.

“Cash ticket machines are a constant target for theft and vandalism, and the cost of continuing to replace the damaged or stolen machines is prohibitive.

“They cannot be insured due to the remoteness of the parks.”

Now the task force is to investigate other charging options and report back to the authority.

There are pay and display parks include Goathland, Grosmont, Thornton-le-Dale, Saltersgate, Hutton-le-Hole, while voluntary donations are made at parks at Boggle Hole and Blue Bank, Sleights.

Mr Muir said some 13 car parks have free parking.