One hour's free parking in Northallerton
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The Northallerton Business Improvement District (BID) Board has commissioned an investigation into how the current arrangements for car parking on Northallerton High Street and surrounding areas meet the needs of shops and businesses and what improvements could be made to enhance retail footfall and visitor numbers.
The report https://www.lovenorthallerton.com/2018/07/09/parkingreport2018/ examines evidence from other towns and cities that shows a direct correlation between the availability of free parking and economic prosperity. It also contains examples of once-prosperous town-centres that have come under severe financial pressure through the introduction of costly and inflexible parking regimes.
The findings of a survey completed by around 100 businesses within the Northallerton BID area are presented. They reveal serious concerns about the impact on trade since the introduction of parking charges on the High Street in 2014. An overwhelming majority of 63% believe the charging regime has brought a negative or a very negative effect on their business.
There is particular criticism of the 30-minute limit on free parking on the High Street,
with calls for this to be extended to one hour to be consistent with neighbouring market towns such as Bedale, Thirsk, Stokesley and Yarm. Businesses said customers felt rushed and there had been reduced footfall and a drop in sales.
The BID report takes a detailed look at whether North Yorkshire County Council’s original objectives for the charging regime have been met and finds that the evidence in areas such as improving traffic flow, easing congestion, reducing pollution and minimising potential road safety hazards is at best inconclusive.
The report identifies Friarage Street as a particular congestion hotspot and urges the relevant authorities to identify and implement solutions for safer pedestrian crossing and improved traffic flow.
Feedback has also highlighted potential confusion for visitors by the mixture of free
disc parking and ticketed free and pay parking, as well as anomalies over signage and enforcement. The BID identifies a need for the intelligent use of new technology such as parking apps to make it easier and more convenient for shoppers.
Based on its findings, the BID strongly recommends NYCC to review the current High Street parking regime and increase the free parking period to one hour for the convenience of shoppers and the economic prosperity of the town.
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Read the full report here https://www.lovenorthallerton.com/2018/07/09/parkingreport2018/
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