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Price tag for Yarm parking meters branded "a disgrace" by Stockton MP
AN MP has branded the cost of installing pay and display parking on Yarm High Street as “a disgrace.”
James Wharton, Conservative MP for Stockton South, has opposed pay and display parking on Yarm High Street and said the £50,000 price tag for 12 parking meters was a “waste of tax-payers' money.”
However Coun Mike Smith, who has responsibility for transport at Stockton Borough Council, said the authority was having to find £100,000 a year to police the current disc-parking system.
Mr Wharton pointed out that each parking meter was costing £4,300 and said: “This is breathtaking. We are emerging from the grips of a recession which has affected people across the North-East, Stockton Council has refused to freeze our council yax and now we discover they want to waste over £50,000 of taxpayers money on a parking scheme no one wants.
“Hundreds of people from Yarm, Eaglescliffe and beyond have contacted me about these ridiculous charging proposals and now these costings have been revealed, you really do have to wonder what on earth Stockton Council is thinking.
"It is not too late, the meters have not yet been ordered, I would like to see them think again, listen to local people and drop this whole sorry mess of a scheme. Stop wasting our money on things no one wants.”
However Coun Smith indicated it was likely the pay and display scheme would go ahead.
He said: “The reasons for the introduction of pay and display parking in Yarm High Street have been debated at length over the past several years, including the use of independent market research approved by the town council.
“This research highlighted that the current disc zone is confusing which has meant we have had to spend more than £100,000 a year on enforcement to enable us to appropriately manage this system.
"Pay and display parking is much more easily understood which means people visiting the town will be clear about how long they can park for, which will increase the turnover of visitors, benefiting all town centre businesses and also reducing enforcement costs.
“The council has been through the proper legal and democratic processes, including extensive consultation. We’re expecting to begin the next stage of consultation about the implementation of the scheme in late April.”