Council: “We have at least three car parking options”

POCKLINGTON town councillors have said there are at least three options available regarding the future of car parking in the town.

At a full council meeting last week, members said the first option would be to pay the £25,350 to lease the town’s three long-stay car parks from East Riding Council and keep them free to use. To cover the costs, the average band D household in Pocklington would have to pay £76.53 for their annual town precept, an increase of £9.35 or a 12.9 per cent rise.

The second option would be to do nothing and wait for East Riding Council to introduce pay and display machines at the car parks on West Green and the front and rear of the old railway station.

The third “in-between” option, may be to pay the local authority to extend the proposed half an hour free parking to one hour and have pay and display after that.

However, the town council do not yet know if the county council would be prepared to do this and how much it would cost.

At the meeting, the Mayor of Pocklington, Councillor Graham Perry said the town council needs to create a document with all the options available and then decide how they can consult people in the town to decide which option to take.

He said: “If we get a document that pulls together options A, B and C and the council consider them and take a view on it, there is a feeling the people of Pocklington should be informed of the factors and options.

“We should get the figures and discuss it as a council and decide how the people of Pocklington could have their say.”

Coun Perry said he wants the document finalised in time for the full council meeting in August.

If Pocklington residents did decide that leasing the car parks and keeping them free to use was the best option, then the first year would be considerably less than subsequent years.

It would only cost £8,350 for the first year and then go up to £25,350 the year after.

With this option, the town council could also decide to hand the car parks back to East Riding Council if they wished, providing they give a month’s notice.

If residents decide doing nothing would be the best way forward, then pay and display machines would not be introduced until October 2012 at the earliest.

The car park review began in 2009 with the idea of introducing pay and display in many of the free car parks in the East Riding.

However, it sparked huge protests across the region as thousands of residents, shoppers and shopkeepers signed petitions and organised marches.

There is a concern among some people that charges will kill off local businesses, deter visitors and force drivers into on-street parking.

Last summer, members of various parish and town councils across the region formed a group called Council of Councils Against Car Parking Charges to fight East Riding Council’s plans.

The county council put the plans on the back burner in February last year until there were two consecutive quarters of economic growth.