Scarborough parking plan talks deferred by council cabinet

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The decision on a controversial plan to scrap free winter parking and offer discounted residents parking has been deferred by Scarborough Borough Council's cabinet.

The cabinet meeting held on Tuesday shifted the decision on the matter, with issues arising around the report meaning a revised copy will come back to the cabinet at a later date.

The council has been consulting on whether to offer people from the town a discount on parking in town centre car parks in exchange for a £10 annual payment for a permit.

The scheme has drawn criticism from Scarborough's hoteliers and traders.

Following a public consultation on the plans six letters of objection were received.

However, among the objections are letters from two of Scarborough’s most influential groups. the Scarborough Hospitality Association and the South Bay Traders Association.

In its submission, the hospitality association wrote: “While the introduction of a proposed winter tariff of £1 [for 24 hours] may seem small, the present suspension of parking charges between 1 November and 28 February is popular and supports many hospitality businesses from small sea front cafes and snack bars to the larger visitor attractions especially during weekends when accommodation providers also benefit from short-break out of season holidaymakers.”

The South Bay traders said the scrapping of the free winter parking and increased prices for visitors would cause “untold damage to [Scarborough’s] reputation”.

Other objections said the discount on the per hour rate in car parks offered were not great enough to make a difference.

In a report that was due to go before the councillors, deputy operations manager Jane Wilson addressed some of the concerns.

She wrote: “Users of the car parks will benefit from between a 30p and £1reduction on shorter stay tariffs.

“Regular users will see a benefit after purchasing 10 tickets. This is after less that one visit per month.”

Mrs Wilson also said there was no evidence to support the claims that the free winter parking supports local businesses.

She added: “There is no evidence to support this assertion. Officers see members of the public approaching machines expecting to pay in the winter months. It is considered that a charge of £1 for 24 hours parking is not unreasonable.

“As a comparison, East Riding Council currently charges £2.90 for daily parking in our neighbouring town of Bridlington.”