CHANGES to Middlesbrough’s town centre parking offer come into effect from next week.
From Monday (June 26) two hours free parking will no longer be available at the Buxton Street and mima car parks.
The move follows abuse of the system, with motorists frequently acquiring multiple free tickets to extend their stay, despite clear warnings that this can incur a penalty charge notice.
In other instances, drivers using the car parks were purchasing further tickets following the expiry of the free period to enable them to park all day in a space intended to be short stay for town centre visitors.
Enforcement has proven laborious and time-consuming, and has not been effective in tackling the problem.
The £1.10 per hour charge is therefore being re-introduced, with notices on display in the two car parks to alert regular users to the changes.
The two hour free parking offer is still available in nearly a third of Council operated car parks (1,935 spaces) – Captain Cook Square, Zetland, Station Street, Transporter Bridge and Amber Street.
Two hours free parking is also available in the ‘jewel’ streets to the west of Linthorpe Road (Amber, Garnet, Ruby, Emerald, Pearl Streets and Diamond Road).
Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, said: “Over the last four years, our approach to parking across central Middlesbrough has proved extremely popular with both shoppers and businesses.
“The aim from the outset was to encourage people to visit the town centre, with parking that is both affordable and easily accessible.
“Unfortunately in a couple of areas the two hours free offer has been subject to abuse, so the decision has been taken to remove it to ensure a high turnover of vehicles in those car parks.
“The two hours free offer will continue in a number of central locations including the Captain Cook Square, Zetland and Station Street car parks.
“We will continue to do everything we can to make Middlesbrough great value for shoppers, visitors and workers alike.”