'Nightmare parking' leads residents to avoid town centre

File picture: Beaconsfield car park shut last September. More parking spaces have been lost since
File picture: Beaconsfield car park shut last September. More parking spaces have been lost since

More than 170 parking spaces have been lost in Bridlington Town Centre as residents choose to drive to nearby towns rather than try find a spot to park.

Since September 2016, the town centre has lost 4.5% of its paid for car parking spaces and 5% of its free on street parking spaces.

The figures, released to the Free Press by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, reveal 144 formal spaces were lost when Beaconsfield Car Park was sold for £1 million to make
way for the new Premier Inn development.

A further 16 spaces were lost when regeneration works removed Beck Hill Car Park. Another 17 spaces have been lost elsewhere.

Bob Hillery, president of Bridlington Tourism Assosciation, said: “It’s always been a major problem in Bridlington. They should be putting more spaces in, not taking them out. Everyone has a problem with it.

"All that has changed since the Controlled Parking Zones came in is that we now pay money for what we always had. We now put our car out front and move it when guests come.

“The park and ride is fine for people who are just coming for a day here but people who are staying want to be in the town.”

A worrying number of residents have now said they find it is easier to drive to neighbouring towns rather than battle to find a parking space.

Resident Tracy Stokes said: “I’ve given up even trying to go to Brid. I like to support local shops but what’s the point when you can’t park. Driffield is better for shops and parking, no competition until its sorted in Brid.”

Her views were echoed by fellow residents who also said they’d prefer to travel elsewhere.

Lisa Smelt said: “It’s easier to go to Driffield than spend 20 minutes trying to find a parking space in Bridlington. I feel sorry for the traders as things will only get worse.”

The town centre had 4,505 pay and display spaces in 2016 – including more than 1,000 from the park and ride.

When spaces at the park and ride are not included, figures show 4.5% of parking has been lost in the town centre in 12 months.

Nigel Atkinson, head of Bridlington Renaissance, said: “Due to the ongoing regeneration of Bridlington, with the development of Premier Inn and the ongoing investment in the highways infrastructure, there has been a small reduction of pay and display parking spaces operated by the council in the town – 160 spaces, which equates to less than 4% of the previous total of 4,505 available in Bridlington. The car park at the leisure centre includes an additional 60 public spaces compared with the position prior to redevelopment of the facilities.

“The council continuously monitors its pay and display parking provision in Bridlington, with the recent data recorded indicating that motorists are adapting to these changes and parking in other locations within the town.”

The figures revealed there has been a decrease in the number of parking ticket sales sold between April and July this year compared to the same period last year.
In 2016, 251,091 tickets were sold compared to 243,728 – a difference of more than 7,000.

But the council has put this down to virtual ticket usage by members at East Riding Leisure Bridlington in 2017 – which was not available the year before and isn’t included in the figures.
Limekiln Lane car park was also affected this year due to a mains fault which meant ticket machines weren’t in operation.

Ticket figures for April to July not including Limekiln Lane or East Riding Leisure Bridlington show a reduction of 3,586 from 2016 to 2017. Mr Atkinson added: “An economically prosperous Bridlington is not only important to those who live in the town but to the East Riding as a whole.

“This is reflected by the council’s long-term commitment to the town, through the area action plan, to create the right conditions to attract more private sector investment and in turn provide new opportunities for businesses and employment for local people.”

Excluding pay and display parking, it was estimated that 310 on street spaces were available in 2016 in the town centre and the town centre seafront area. This reduced to 293 spaces following the works.

Approximately 17 spaces were lost from Park Avenue, Beck Hill, Bridge Street and Manor Street after works as part of the Bridlington Inegrated Transport Plan.

No parking spaces west of Promenade and north of Quay Road/Prospect Street/Manor Street were included in the figures and neither were any spaces south of Hilderthorpe Road.