Pock’s parking problem: too many cars, too few spaces

West Green car park, in Pocklington
West Green car park, in Pocklington

Recent letters to the Pocklington Post and comments on social media indicate that there is growing concern about parking and infrastructure.

Several years ago Pocklington Town Council mounted a vigorous and ultimately successful campaign against the East Riding proposal to introduce car parking charges.

A survey was commissioned at a cost of around £2,000 to support the contention that free parking was vital for residents and the local economy. Further surveys have been carried out but no solution has been found to the problem of too many cars and too few spaces.

There have been suggestions to relocate the bus station to make way for an extra car park. This sounds ideal but is the owner willing to sell?

There are no daytime restrictions in our car parks. Complaints have been made about car parks being used all day by workers, by commuters and by students.

Currently, anyone is legally entitled to park in a car park all day but this does not allow turnover of spaces for shoppers and visitors.

Should there be long stay parking a little further out of town serviced by a bus link? At many Town Meetings and in many consultations a time limit of three hours has been suggested for town centre car parks. A time limit need not lead to charges as parking enforcement officers already visit the town and issue fines.

Various locations have been looked at as viable sites but surveys show unless it is a short walk, people will shop elsewhere.

After some controversy, people have got used to the two hour limit for road parking which does give time for turnover of spaces. Three hour limits in the car parks would allow extra time for visits to the dentist, hairdressers, arts centre and restaurants.

Most resident car journeys are less than 1.5 miles and there seems to be greater use of the car in Pocklington for short journeys than in other East Riding market towns.

Many short journeys could be undertaken on foot or by bike. It is welcome news that the county council has been granted £700,000 to promote walking and cycling but initial details mention Beverley, Driffield, Bridlington and Goole.

The town council and voluntary groups are encouraging sustainable transport and safe routes into town. A change in the car culture could not only solve congestion; it could also bring many health and social benefits.

By Margaret Stubbs