Traders claim high street parking charges are blighting businesses

Darlington and Stockton Times: TRADE CONCERNS: Empty car parking spaces on Northallerton High Street, as cars queue TRADE CONCERNS: Empty car parking spaces on Northallerton High Street, as cars queue

HIGH street traders have claimed a council parking scheme which aimed to increase the number of their customers has backfired and is blighting their businesses.

Some members of Northallerton Retail and Business Forum, which employs hundreds of people in Northallerton High Street, said they were extremely worried about trade following the first two weeks of an on-street car parking charge scheme.

North Yorkshire County Council has replaced its two-hour free parking regime with one in which motorists must get a free 30-minute ticket or pay 80p an hour, as part of a plan to free the 250 High Street parking spaces to enable more shoppers to visit shops and cut congestion in the town centre.

While retailers have declined to state by how much their trade had dropped for commercial reasons, some have reported a sharp drop in sales alongside a dramatic rise in the number of empty car parking spaces.

Gareth Dant, secretary of Northallerton Retail & Business Forum, said: "The initial feedback from our members in the first two weeks or so of the new charging regime is extremely worrying.

“It is early days, and one or two outlets have reported quite positively, but these are firms whose customers generally spend much shorter times visiting.”

Steve Hewitt, of High Street firm Olivia’s bakery, said trade had significantly dropped off and that a number of nearby businesses had been hit.

After announcing the plan, the county council said it expected more shoppers to use the car parks.

Hambleton District Council said the number of people parking at its off-street car parks over the past two weeks had shown there was no difference from the same period last year.

A North Yorkshire County Council spokesman said: “It is too early to give a response on the scheme, but we are continuing to monitor the situation.”

Comments (8)

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8:04am Sat 28 Jun 14

stupid73 says...

I work in Northallerton and personally, I think it's great as I can now find a space to park on the high street and then nip into a shop or bank without any fuss. Where as usually I couldn't get parked and so didn't bother and would do my shopping/banking in Darlington.
I work in Northallerton and personally, I think it's great as I can now find a space to park on the high street and then nip into a shop or bank without any fuss. Where as usually I couldn't get parked and so didn't bother and would do my shopping/banking in Darlington. stupid73
  • Score: 4

8:40am Sat 28 Jun 14

darloboss says...

if you want to kill off your town centre seek expert advice from darlington borough council
if you want to kill off your town centre seek expert advice from darlington borough council darloboss
  • Score: 1

5:36pm Sat 28 Jun 14

behonest says...

Is it obvious, or is it me? 30 minutes gives people like stupid73 just enough time to nip into a bank, it doesn't give people time to shop. Perhaps 2 hours was too long, but why not give the first hour free?
Is it obvious, or is it me? 30 minutes gives people like stupid73 just enough time to nip into a bank, it doesn't give people time to shop. Perhaps 2 hours was too long, but why not give the first hour free? behonest
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Sat 28 Jun 14

pilchrat says...

Like stupid73, I found it really useful. I never used to bother popping to the shops after work; but now there's spaces, I can nip in, grab my 30 minute ticket, and get a few bits. Those who want to stay longer can just use nearby car parks or pay for a little longer. Prior to this, I'd just pop to a supermarket on my way home instead.

Empty spaces are good. It means spaces for people to visit. Not spaces for people to clog up the street when they're planning to be there for a couple of hours.

Also much simpler than disc parking. Unless you're a local or understand that you have to pop into a shop to get a disc or a council office, this way it's standardised and works like most other town centres.
Like stupid73, I found it really useful. I never used to bother popping to the shops after work; but now there's spaces, I can nip in, grab my 30 minute ticket, and get a few bits. Those who want to stay longer can just use nearby car parks or pay for a little longer. Prior to this, I'd just pop to a supermarket on my way home instead. Empty spaces are good. It means spaces for people to visit. Not spaces for people to clog up the street when they're planning to be there for a couple of hours. Also much simpler than disc parking. Unless you're a local or understand that you have to pop into a shop to get a disc or a council office, this way it's standardised and works like most other town centres. pilchrat
  • Score: 4

10:57pm Sat 28 Jun 14

pilchrat says...

Also: misleading picture Echo. There are no pedestrians around, and traffic usually queues like that at that traffic light junction at morning commuting time, before the shops have even opened.

Also: traders don't seem bothered that the market stalls on the high street practically null and void most high street parking in favour of their stalls two days a week. Where do people park then? Oh yes ... the nearby car parks. Get a grip.
Also: misleading picture Echo. There are no pedestrians around, and traffic usually queues like that at that traffic light junction at morning commuting time, before the shops have even opened. Also: traders don't seem bothered that the market stalls on the high street practically null and void most high street parking in favour of their stalls two days a week. Where do people park then? Oh yes ... the nearby car parks. Get a grip. pilchrat
  • Score: 4

5:21pm Thu 3 Jul 14

hullgodfreyshire says...

most councils do not learn until half the shops have shut and they are left with ghost towns, if you do not believe me, try having a look round MOST of our town & city centers. you have got TWO out of town shopping centers in the planning stages in your areas already, when they become reallity, they will both offer FREE parking, by then it ill be TOO LATE. TOWN CENTERS CANNOT SURVIVE ON A TWO MINUTE SHOPPING TRIP ON THE WAY HOME, it is the locals who do their main shopping in the area for the WEEK not to two minute bash to the bank or paper shop, A town center with a healthy market on at least two days a week will survive as long as people can park and shop at their leasure, NOT RUN ROUND AGAINST THE CLOCK.
IGNORE AT YOUR PERIL
most councils do not learn until half the shops have shut and they are left with ghost towns, if you do not believe me, try having a look round MOST of our town & city centers. you have got TWO out of town shopping centers in the planning stages in your areas already, when they become reallity, they will both offer FREE parking, by then it ill be TOO LATE. TOWN CENTERS CANNOT SURVIVE ON A TWO MINUTE SHOPPING TRIP ON THE WAY HOME, it is the locals who do their main shopping in the area for the WEEK not to two minute bash to the bank or paper shop, A town center with a healthy market on at least two days a week will survive as long as people can park and shop at their leasure, NOT RUN ROUND AGAINST THE CLOCK. IGNORE AT YOUR PERIL hullgodfreyshire
  • Score: 0

7:02pm Fri 11 Jul 14

johnrich514 says...

pilchrat wrote:
Like stupid73, I found it really useful. I never used to bother popping to the shops after work; but now there's spaces, I can nip in, grab my 30 minute ticket, and get a few bits. Those who want to stay longer can just use nearby car parks or pay for a little longer. Prior to this, I'd just pop to a supermarket on my way home instead.

Empty spaces are good. It means spaces for people to visit. Not spaces for people to clog up the street when they're planning to be there for a couple of hours.

Also much simpler than disc parking. Unless you're a local or understand that you have to pop into a shop to get a disc or a council office, this way it's standardised and works like most other town centres.
What if you are 70 and are unable to 'pop' into this and 'pop' into that - the town has to cater for everyone not just people who are fit enough to dash between shops - 30 minutes is definitely insufficient time.
[quote][p][bold]pilchrat[/bold] wrote: Like stupid73, I found it really useful. I never used to bother popping to the shops after work; but now there's spaces, I can nip in, grab my 30 minute ticket, and get a few bits. Those who want to stay longer can just use nearby car parks or pay for a little longer. Prior to this, I'd just pop to a supermarket on my way home instead. Empty spaces are good. It means spaces for people to visit. Not spaces for people to clog up the street when they're planning to be there for a couple of hours. Also much simpler than disc parking. Unless you're a local or understand that you have to pop into a shop to get a disc or a council office, this way it's standardised and works like most other town centres.[/p][/quote]What if you are 70 and are unable to 'pop' into this and 'pop' into that - the town has to cater for everyone not just people who are fit enough to dash between shops - 30 minutes is definitely insufficient time. johnrich514
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Fri 11 Jul 14

johnrich514 says...

Another point - my sister lives near Worthing on the South coast and about 15 years ago they did the same parking scheme and started charging. The lovely town slowly closed and the supermarkets mopped up the business with 'free parking' ! It is now almost a ghost town. Is it not obvious that if the supermarkets are onto this why are our councillors so stuck in the mud? Well...most of em don't even live here you see and drive home to the countryside in their nice big motors - on expenses!
Another point - my sister lives near Worthing on the South coast and about 15 years ago they did the same parking scheme and started charging. The lovely town slowly closed and the supermarkets mopped up the business with 'free parking' ! It is now almost a ghost town. Is it not obvious that if the supermarkets are onto this why are our councillors so stuck in the mud? Well...most of em don't even live here you see and drive home to the countryside in their nice big motors - on expenses! johnrich514
  • Score: 0
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