An extra year of free parking!

Coun Stephen Parnaby OBE at Bridlington Harbour.
Coun Stephen Parnaby OBE at Bridlington Harbour.

PARKING charges will not be introduced in Pocklington until April next year at the earliest, East Riding Council’s leader has confirmed.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby announced, during his budget speech to East Riding’s full council recently, that parking charges will not be enforced over the next financial year at sites in the county where they do not already exist.

It follows Pocklington Town Council’s decision recently to vote against leasing the town’s three long-stay car parks from the local authority and to allow pay and display machines to be installed.

East Riding Council’s plan was to introduce parking charges no earlier than October this year, and then only if certain conditions relating to national economic growth are met. But Coun Parnaby has now confirmed that they will not be brought in before the end of the next financial year on 31 March 2013.

He said: “ I am well aware of such issues as the ‘Portas Review’ and we will need to consider working in partnership with communities to ensure we continue to make an attractive offer.

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“There are no plans in this budget to introduce car parking charges where they do not currently exist.”

The Portas Review cited parking charges as one of the reasons for failing high streets.

Mayor of Pocklington, Coun Graham Perry, has welcomed the news and believes it will be good for the local economy.

He said: “I am pleased to say, on behalf of Pocklington Town Council, that we are pleased that car parking charges will not be introduced in the next 12 months. We hope it will be deferred longer than that.

“We feel that this will have a beneficial effect to the traders in the town and help the local economy in general.”

Pocklington Town Council’s decision to allow pay and display to be rolled out across the town’s three East Riding owned car parks - West Green, Station and Station Rear - came after a survey of car parking in the town by consultants Panda.

The research, commissioned by the town council, found that the majority of the car parks were being filled by workers leaving their cars all day.

According to Panda, 74 per cent of motorists surveyed in Pocklington objected to the charges, with just 13 per cent in favour.

Had the town council voted to lease the car parks from East Riding Council, at a cost of £26,000 a year, it would have meant Pocklington rate payers footing the bill, with a band D household paying an extra £9 a year.

When charges are enforced, users will have to pay 50p for the first hour, £1.20 for two hours, £1.90 for three hours, and £2.50 all day.