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Parking scheme not self financing

PUBLISHED: 17:56 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

THE residents parking scheme in Great Yarmouth has not proved self-financing, despite raising more than £70,000 in revenue from parking tickets.

Since the scheme started in February last year, 4,200 parking tickets have been issued generating about £72,000 in fines, and £51,000 has been made through the sale of permits, bringing the income to £123,000.

THE residents parking scheme in Great Yarmouth has not proved self-financing, despite raising more than £70,000 in revenue from parking tickets.

Since the scheme started in February last year, 4,200 parking tickets have been issued generating about £72,000 in fines, and £51,000 has been made through the sale of permits, bringing the income to £123,000.

Norfolk County Council, which runs the scheme, estimates running costs are in the region of £125,000, it was revealed during last week's annual meeting of the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority (GYTA).

Members engaged in a heated debate about parking in the town and director David Marsh said the permit parking had made the situation worse.

He said: “The borough council is encouraging people to use the car parks at either end of the seafront. But the evidence shows those car parks are only full for eight days of the year. With that in mind, the borough council will want to see them full for longer until they (the council) pay for more parking spaces. It's a difficult one

to fight.”

Mr Marsh suggested tackling the problem by having signs telling visitors where they could park.

“We need a system to let people know where to park. We want to get rid of people driving round and round the town.”

While many members of the GYTA said a park and ride would be an option, Mr Marsh said it would only work when other car parks are full but it would be too costly to run.

He said: “The road train already runs past car parks at either end of the seafront, so in a way we already have a form of park and ride, but are we promoting it enough?

Local newsagent Ralph Childs said Yarmouth was “driving people away” with the residents parking scheme in its current form.

He then questioned councillor Graham Plant, cabinet member for tourism, over revenue raised by parking tickets.

Mr Plant admitted evidence collected showed several streets in the permit zone were empty during the day. It was then suggested by councillor George Jermany that the permit parking hours, currently 8am-6pm, should be reversed so it runs in the evenings.

“It operates at the wrong time of day. Residents come home from work and then they have got nowhere to park,” said Mr Jermany.

Mr Plant said that four-hour parking bays had been introduced in Apsley Road so people could come into town, have a meal and park easily. He added the council was working closely with the county council on the possibility of creating a further 100 parking spaces in the “Golden Mile area”.

The borough council enforces the residents parking scheme and has so far taken 100 people to court for parking without a permit. Last Friday, Yarmouth magistrates found Conrad Evans of, Copperfield Avenue, Yarmouth, guilty of parking his vehicle with no valid permit displayed in Lancaster Road in May last year. Evans was ordered to pay the original fixed penalty of £55, a fine of £15 and £30 towards to the council's legal costs.

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