Scarborough park and rides could close under county council proposals to save money

The park and ride site on the A64.The park and ride site on the A64.
The park and ride site on the A64.
Both of Scarborough’s park and ride sites could close under proposals from North Yorkshire County Council.

The authority is looking to make savings on the annual cost of running the sites, on the A64 at Seamer Road and the A165 in Filey Road, and cites the falling use by motorists as its reason for doing so.

A report, which will go before the council’s Business and Environmental Services Corporate Director and Executive Members meeting on Friday January 25, sets forward three options for the town moving forward.

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The park and ride site on the A165 in Filey Road.The park and ride site on the A165 in Filey Road.
The park and ride site on the A165 in Filey Road.

The first option open to the council is to close both the sites.

The second is to close one of the park and ride facilities and keep the other open. No preference has been given to which of the sites could be retained, however, the report notes that the county council leases the A64 site from Scarborough Council which means that, unlike the site in Filey Road, it could not look to lease or sell the land for additional income in the future.

The final option the county will consider is to keep both sites open but to shut them out of season from the second Sunday in November until the second Sunday before Easter.

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.

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The park and ride proposal report by Cathy Summers, the council’s Commercial Sector Service Development manager, states that the use of the scheme started to drop in 2012, three years after it opened.

She writes: “Initially the park and ride service had a significant positive impact on congestion and traffic data collected in 2011 showed that it had contributed to, on average, the removal of 500 vehicles a day from Scarborough town centre.

“However, data collected in 2012 showed a large reduction in use compared to the same period in 2011.

“This coincides with the council’s decision to introduce a fare of £1 (return) for concessionary pass holders following the removal of the service from the Concessionary Fares Scheme in April 2012. Prior to that time, pass holders could travel for free on the service.

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“Following the changes in 2012 there has been a steady decline in passenger numbers each year.”

Figures 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.

Data collected also shows that use of the park and rides peaks at the end of June around Armed Forces Day and there are also spikes around the Easter and August bank holidays.

The three proposals for the future of the park and ride services will be sent out to consultation and the result will be presented to the county council in May.