Parking fees killing town centre, say traders

The Advertiser Series: TOWN CENTRE TRADE: The High Street at Northallerton, where new parking charges were recently introduced TOWN CENTRE TRADE: The High Street at Northallerton, where new parking charges were recently introduced

FURIOUS business owners say new parking charges in Northallerton are killing the town centre – with some reporting losses of up to 40 per cent in revenue since their introduction.

Retailers and other businesses on the High Street say the new parking regime - in which motorists must get a free 30 minute ticket or pay 80p an hour - has had a profound impact on trade since it was introduced just over a month ago.

North Yorkshire County Council, which introduced the charges, says a review of the system will be carried out after six months.

But many traders say that will be too late, with many businesses already hit by a significant loss of trade.

One trader, Caz Pring, owner of craft and wool shop Paperlane, on Friarage Street, said her takings are down more than 40 per cent in the month since the introduction.

“In six months time, if things continue the way it’s going, I’ll be gone; I’ll be out of business,” she said.

The majority of traders on the High Street report shoppers dashing to complete their shop within the 30 free minutes.

Anthony Kitson, owner of Kitsons Butchers Shop, said: “Obviously the idea is to have people come in, do a quick shop, then go. But in reality, in the shoppers’ psyche, they think they have half an hour to shop in the town and then go. As a trader I’m feeling the effect of it.”

Claire Whitehead, assistant manager of Steamer Trading, said the cooking and bakery store had also noticed an impact.

“We have a big store here, with a large range of products. People are saying to us 'we wish we had more time to look around', but they’re dashing back to their cars instead.”

Other retailers in the town have reported trade down between six and 20 per cent since the introduction of the charges.

Mark Willoughby, from Mitchells newsagents said their trade was also down six per cent.

He added: “People aren’t stopping long enough to ponder over a purchase.”

Takings are also down in Hambleton District Council’s car parks in the town. In the six weeks since the introduction of pay and display parking, usage is down just under three per cent compared to last year.

Hambleton District Council has put part of this decrease down to the closure of the prison and the Rural Payments Agency.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said a review of the system would be carried out after its six month trial, adding: “At that time, we will examine how the system is working and consider whether any refinements or amendments are necessary.”

Comments (6)

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5:16pm Sun 27 Jul 14

NO EINSTEIN says...

Im sorry traders, but im guilty of avoiding the town now, i won't pay to shop for the things i need to live on.
Remember this whole thing has the word Hambleton District Council in it, they don't give a hoot, thats clear by there aleged top man Philip Morton giving himself a £25,000 pay rise, there a joke, they really are.
Im sorry traders, but im guilty of avoiding the town now, i won't pay to shop for the things i need to live on. Remember this whole thing has the word Hambleton District Council in it, they don't give a hoot, thats clear by there aleged top man Philip Morton giving himself a £25,000 pay rise, there a joke, they really are. NO EINSTEIN
  • Score: 7

6:42pm Sun 27 Jul 14

K. Richardson says...

They just don't get it do they ? To a lot of people shopping is a leisure activity and if they are going to be taxed for it then they will just go elsewhere.
I don't care if some @rse is going to come along and tell me how impractical it is, I simply won't do it on principle.
They just don't get it do they ? To a lot of people shopping is a leisure activity and if they are going to be taxed for it then they will just go elsewhere. I don't care if some @rse is going to come along and tell me how impractical it is, I simply won't do it on principle. K. Richardson
  • Score: -1

9:48pm Sun 27 Jul 14

Got Ya says...

People will be flocking to Darlington to do their shopping.....lol.
People will be flocking to Darlington to do their shopping.....lol. Got Ya
  • Score: -2

8:11pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Earl_Lee_Dawes says...

This whole thing started when Hambleton District Council decided to introduce car park charges in the town, leaving the High Street charge free. It was obvious that this would make everyone drive up and down this street at least once to try to find a free space. This caused congestion and so this confusing free ticket 30 minutes disc system was introduced. Now the whole town is festooned with signs for disc zones, resident's only zones, long stay, short stay, you can't park here or maybe you can zones etc. No wonder people choose to visit out of town retail parks. I feel sorry for the traders.
This whole thing started when Hambleton District Council decided to introduce car park charges in the town, leaving the High Street charge free. It was obvious that this would make everyone drive up and down this street at least once to try to find a free space. This caused congestion and so this confusing free ticket 30 minutes disc system was introduced. Now the whole town is festooned with signs for disc zones, resident's only zones, long stay, short stay, you can't park here or maybe you can zones etc. No wonder people choose to visit out of town retail parks. I feel sorry for the traders. Earl_Lee_Dawes
  • Score: 1

3:57pm Tue 29 Jul 14

hullgodfreyshire says...

i POSTED A WARNING MONTHS AGO THAT IF THEY BROUGHT IN PARKING CHARGES, THE TOWN WOULD DIE A DEATH, WELL DONE THE COUNCIL. YOU HAVE PROVED ME RIGHT, YOU COMPLETE IDIOTS.
i POSTED A WARNING MONTHS AGO THAT IF THEY BROUGHT IN PARKING CHARGES, THE TOWN WOULD DIE A DEATH, WELL DONE THE COUNCIL. YOU HAVE PROVED ME RIGHT, YOU COMPLETE IDIOTS. hullgodfreyshire
  • Score: 1

1:41pm Thu 31 Jul 14

gjh says...

I visited Northallerton today for the first time in months. Given what I have read I expected a deserted town with boarded-up shops and tumbleweeds drifting down the High Street. Imagine my surprise to find none of these things; the town was busy, the shops were busy and only 3 parking spaces available on the street between the roundabouts which were quickly taken up. Are the scare-mongers trying to kill off the town?
I visited Northallerton today for the first time in months. Given what I have read I expected a deserted town with boarded-up shops and tumbleweeds drifting down the High Street. Imagine my surprise to find none of these things; the town was busy, the shops were busy and only 3 parking spaces available on the street between the roundabouts which were quickly taken up. Are the scare-mongers trying to kill off the town? gjh
  • Score: 3

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