Trade appears to hold up despite parking charges

One of the new parking fee machines on Yarm High Street.

One of the new parking fee machines on Yarm High Street.

First published in News

A CONTROVERSIAL pay and display parking scheme introduced on a busy high street does not appear to have badly affected trade, despite dire predictions.

However, there were still complaints on Yarm High Street that displaced parking from shop workers and shoppers is causing problems outside residents’ homes and in nearby Eaglescliffe.

Yarm Town Council was so worried about the potential affect on trade by Stockton Borough Council’s introduction of paid-for parking that it took the larger council to court at a cost of nearly £40,000 in 2012.

However, the parish council lost its argument that Stockton council had failed to follow procedures properly, and the authority finally introduced the scheme on Monday, April 28, almost three months ago.

Pay and display parking was recently introduced on Northallerton’s High Street by neighbouring North Yorkshire County Council and it has caused anger with some shop-keepers reporting trade down by 40 per cent. In Northallerton shoppers only get the first half hour free and must pay 80p an hour after that.

In Yarm, shoppers can park for free for the first hour and then pay just £1 for the next two hours.

Paddy Morton, manager of the Strickland and Holt store, said trade had fallen off at first, but picked up again within weeks.

“Initially there was a bit of confusion but people got used to it and, to be honest, it’s OK,” he said.

Callum Murray, of Yarm Butchers, said: “Trade is a bit worse but I can’t tell if it’s the roadworks (caused by improvements to the area around the Town Hall) or the pay and display.”

Sue Emmerson, manager of the Lewis and Cooper deli, said trade had picked up after an initial big fall, but there had been trouble caused by shop workers and shoppers filling up the few long-stay car parks and parking inappropriately elsewhere.

Councillor Mike Smith, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, said: “We remain absolutely committed to delivering further long-stay parking options in Yarm.

“The recent planning approval for a new long-stay car park on land behind Barclays Bank was a step in the right direction and work is due to start there in the coming weeks.

“We have also had some encouraging contact with the owners of the site behind the Blue Bell pub, where a planning application for another long-stay car park was recently refused. They have indicated a desire to resolve the issues raised at Planning Committee in order to take that site forward.”

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Comments (3)

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9:40pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Ingleby Barwick Resident says...

So all the pessimistic doom mongers turned out to be completely wrong. Once the excellent work upgrading the area around the town hall is finished there will be a first class high street with much better turnover of parking. I applaud SBC's commitment to providing further long stay parking as a facility for workers and visitors.

I wonder whether any of the council's opponents will accept they were wrong on parking, as the traders are now saying trade has not suffered a long term impact?
So all the pessimistic doom mongers turned out to be completely wrong. Once the excellent work upgrading the area around the town hall is finished there will be a first class high street with much better turnover of parking. I applaud SBC's commitment to providing further long stay parking as a facility for workers and visitors. I wonder whether any of the council's opponents will accept they were wrong on parking, as the traders are now saying trade has not suffered a long term impact? Ingleby Barwick Resident
  • Score: 1

11:11am Tue 29 Jul 14

theWorkerScum says...

I'd have thought if anything it would increase trade as it keeps spaces clear. An hour is enough time to go to butchers and bakers etc. If only they had applied that same common sense in other areas sooner.
I'd have thought if anything it would increase trade as it keeps spaces clear. An hour is enough time to go to butchers and bakers etc. If only they had applied that same common sense in other areas sooner. theWorkerScum
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Tue 29 Jul 14

The Grim North says...

theWorkerScum wrote:
I'd have thought if anything it would increase trade as it keeps spaces clear. An hour is enough time to go to butchers and bakers etc. If only they had applied that same common sense in other areas sooner.
Disk parking would do that job. Much better than state sponsored theft.
[quote][p][bold]theWorkerScum[/bold] wrote: I'd have thought if anything it would increase trade as it keeps spaces clear. An hour is enough time to go to butchers and bakers etc. If only they had applied that same common sense in other areas sooner.[/p][/quote]Disk parking would do that job. Much better than state sponsored theft. The Grim North
  • Score: 0

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