STOCKTON-on-Tees Borough Council is consulting on proposed changes to parking arrangements in Yarm at the request of businesses in the town.
Businesses approached the Council to ask for changes to parking in and around Yarm High Street with the aim of increasing parking options for shoppers and visitors.
A public consultation is now under way to seek the views of local people before any decisions are made.
What are the proposed changes in Yarm High Street?
Parking on Yarm High Street is currently free for one hour or £1 for three hours then £1 for every hour after, with no maximum stay. Charges apply from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
It is proposed to introduce a maximum stay of three hours with no return within three hours, which businesses say will result in greater turnover of parking spaces. Parking charges would remain free for one hour or £1 for three hours, and would still apply from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
What are the proposed changes in nearby residential streets?
Parking in West Street, Bridge Street, Bentley Wynd, and The Old Market is currently for resident permit holders between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Saturday, with non-permit holders also allowed to park for free for one hour, with no return within two hours.
It is proposed to introduce long stay pay and display parking bays within parts of these four streets, with the existing arrangements remaining unchanged in the remainder.
Resident permit holders will would not have to pay to park in the bays, but for non-permit holders, parking in these bays would be free for one hour with no return within two hours, or £1.50 to park all day. Charges would apply from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
Why have the changes been proposed?
Councillor Mike Smith, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Businesses came to us to talk about the high demand for spaces on Yarm High Street and in off-street car parks.
“They are concerned about the number of people who park on the High Street all day and have asked us to consider a maximum stay to increase the turnover of spaces and free up more spaces for customers.
“They also feel there is some spare parking capacity in nearby streets during the day and traffic surveys conducted since have supported this. The businesses feel this could be used to provide long stay parking options during the day.
“We’ve always said we’d be prepared to review parking arrangements in Yarm and as ever with parking, the challenge is to balance the different needs of residents, businesses and visitors.
“We’ve agreed to put these proposals forward for consultation and we want to hear as many views as possible. These issues are never easy but the more views we have, the more informed the final decision will be.
“Meanwhile, we are continuing to look for ways of bringing additional long stay parking to Yarm.”
When is the consultation taking place?
Consultation on the proposal for West Street, Bridge Street, Bentley Wynd, and The Old Market ends on Friday, May 4.
Consultation on the proposal for Yarm High Street ends on Saturday, May 5.
How can you have your say?
Full details on the proposals, and how you can have your say, are available on the Council’s website at www.stockton.gov.uk/consultation