Scarborough in top three of car parking fees but will they be cut?

Drop Folder News. Pic Kevin Allen.'North Street Car Park.'072741
Drop Folder News. Pic Kevin Allen.'North Street Car Park.'072741

SCARBOROUGH has seen the third highest rise in parking charges in the country, new figures have revealed.

The data puts Scarborough Council in third place in the country’s top five councils for both off street and on street parking charge rises.

However plans could be in place to reduce fares in town centre car parks as the authority looks to beat commercial competitors.

The figures show Scarborough’s motorists are among the hardest hit in the UK with off street car parking soaring by 36.4 per cent and on street parking rising by 33.3 per cent over the last three years.

Both percentages are well above the national average rise of 12 per cent for off street and 11 per cent for on street.

The data was collected by the Co-operative through Freedom of Information requests to local authorities.

Scarborough was the only council to appear in the top four list for both on street and off street car parking rises.

However Cllr Andrew Backhouse, portfolio holder for Highways and Transport at the council, has hit back at the figures.

He said without knowing how much local authorities are charging any comparisons are “unfair”.

Cllr Backhouse said: “Percentages are fine but they don’t give a full comparison as it doesn’t say how much each authority is charging.

“Potentially it could be misleading. Whoever is at the bottom of the list may look good if they haven’t increased charges, but for all we know they could be charging £6 an hour for parking. We need to know how much is being charged before any comparison can be completely fair.”

Cllr Backhouse explained the figures go back three years, at a time when the council was encouraging people to use the new Park and Ride system for long term parking.

In light of the figures Cllr Backhouse has revealed motorists could be in line for a drop in parking charges next year.

He said: “The council’s parking review group is putting forward recommendations that we reduce the parking tariff in town centre car parks.

“We have private competitors in the centre of Scarborough. We have looked at their pricing tariffs, most of their charges are cheaper than what we charge in our off street car parks.

“What we have done is look at these figures and see if there is anywhere we can reduce our tariffs to be more competitive. This will hopefully make us not only competitive but in certain areas cheaper.

“We need to ensure that the motorists’ first though is an SBC car park when they come in to town.”