North Yorkshire Council to increase car parking charges by 20%

North Yorkshire Council has announced plans to increase car parking charges by 20%.

It said the decision followed "careful consideration" of factors such as the rising cost of infrastructure, repairs and security.

The price hike will come into effect from Friday 19 April.

The council also said it would invest in automated payment systems and the installation of electric vehicle chargers.

The authority defended the price rise, saying fees had not increased in some areas for "more than a decade", with the majority unchanged for "at least three years".

It added that the increase would "reflect an annual increment of approximately 6.7% since the last increase".

North Yorkshire Council leader Carl Les said the 20% hike was "not just about raising money", but also about traffic management.

He said: "If there was free parking in town centres all day people would park up at 08:00 and the car would be there at 17:00.

"There is a lot of discussion to be had about the merits of car parking charges, the reasons behind it and how the money is spent.

"We raise the money as a council, but must spend it in certain ways, to do with the traffic management and flows."

'Milking the easiest target'

Opposition councillors claimed the rise would create confusion, particularly in towns where there are different tariffs at council-run car parks.

Leader of the authority's Labour group, Steve Shaw Wright, said while some towns had free publicly owned car parks, people were facing mounting charges from the council to park in neighbouring towns.

He said: "They are milking the easiest target, which is car parking. However, they need to monitor it because in places like Selby there is only a parking warden one day a week, and it's usually the same day."

However, Mr Les said alongside the car parking charges rise, a review of charges across the county was needed.

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