CHANGES to parking on Yarm High Street will be introduced from Monday (October 1).
A new maximum stay of three hours, with no return within three hours, will come into force with the aim of increasing parking options for shoppers and visitors.
Parking will still be £1 for three hours, or motorists can park for free for one hour then pay £1 to extend their stay for the following two hours.
Charges will still apply from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, and residents who currently have a permit to park on the High Street will not be affected.
The move comes after a public consultation prompted by 88 High Street businesses petitioning the Council to request the changes.
Councillor Mike Smith, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Businesses have been telling us they are concerned about the number of people who park on the High Street all day.
“They asked us to consider a maximum stay to increase the turnover of spaces and free up more spaces for customers. We consulted people on the idea and are now ready to implement the changes.
“Signage is going up in the High Street this week and officers are installing keypads on pay and display machines which require people to enter their vehicle registration when parking.
“We’re aware that Yarm Fair is almost here so we will be taking a soft approach to enforcement until the Fair is over, with the emphasis on education and issuing reminders rather than penalties where reasonable.
“We’ll also have officers on the ground to offer help and support to people while they become familiar with the new arrangements.”
He added: “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.
“Of course, striking that balance is never easy and we’ll be working with residents and businesses, including the newly-formed Yarm Business Forum, and other interested parties as we monitor the new arrangements.
“We’re continuing to pursue additional long stay parking options in Yarm too. Lack of land availability does make that difficult but we are actively working on a number of live options.”