Parking charges are set to be introduced in Seaton Carew for the first time this summer despite objections from residents and businesses.
Between April and October, visitors to the seaside resort will have to pay a minimum of £1 for two hours to park at Coronation Drive, Rocket House and the Coach Park.
The charges, and other arrangements, were agreed by Hartlepool Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee on Monday afternoon.
Organisers of a petition against the charges said the council disregarded the wishes of more than 3,500 people who signed it.
But the council says the charges are only on a trial basis and all feedback will be taken into account at the end of the seven month period.
Seaton resident Steve Gooderham, who started the petition, said: “I have talked to every single business owner. Not one of them think this is a good idea.”
After the meeting he said: “I feel really angry. I think that the council have totally disregarded and treated with contempt the wishes of three and a half thousand people.”
Visitors will be charged £1.50 to stay up to four hours and £2 for more than four hours.
Yellow lines will be painted along the sea front and a number of streets will be made residents only parking.
Businesses around The Front will be given designated parking after they raised concerns.
Councillor Marjorie James, chair of the neighbourhood committee, said the charges are “minimal” and would help address problem parking in Seaton.
She said: “At the end of the day we do want people to come as tourists to Seaton Carew and encourage businesses.
“They won’t come if it is not safe to cross the road and is littered and dog fouled.
“All these things need to be dealt with. In the round I believe this programme does benefit Seaton Carew.”
The works will cost about £60,000 to introduce and the charges are expected to bring in £140,000 a year for the council.
Denise Ogden, Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods said: “The parking plan I believe does address some of the concerns we have received.
“The introduction of residents only parking zones and streets will address some of the displacement concerns, parts of the sea front will be designated prohibited parking, ie yellow lines,... and the intention is to retain and extend the limited waiting zones used where the shops and businesses are from 20 minutes to 30 minutes, and create some business parking which will help alleviate some of the concerns of businesses.”
A breakdown of the Seaton parking measures
• Charges will apply between 8am and 8pm, every day including Sundays and Bank Holidays between April 1 and October 31.
• Residential parking schemes will be introduced in the Crawford Street/Church Street area and in designated streets north of Station Lane.
Residents will be offered up to two permits per property free.
•Combined residential parking and pay and display zones will be introduced at various points along The Front, The Cliff and Coronation Drive.
• Limited free waiting bays near businesses at The Front will be extended from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
• Designated business parking bays will be offered free during the seven month trial.
• The car park at Seaton Park remains free of charge but a clock disc system will be introduced limiting visitor parking to one hour.