Controversial Seaton Carew parking charges start tomorrow

Seaton Carew seafront
Seaton Carew seafront

Parking charges will finally come into force at Seaton Carew tomorow - more than a month later than planned.

Hartlepool Council had intended to introduce the charges from the start of April but a delay in the delivery of 15 new pay and display ticket machines meant the scheme had to be put on hold.

The supplier was unable to meet its original timescale due to the introduction of a new £1 coin which left it facing a huge backlog of work in respect of adapting existing pay and display ticket machines up and down the country.

The charges at Seaton Carew, which will apply in the Coronation Drive, Rocket House and Coach Park car parks, will be £1 for up to 2 hours, £1.50 for up to 4 hours and £2 for all day.

They are being introduced on an experimental basis and are part of a Parking Plan which aims to address a range of traffic issues - including parking on pavements and on the chevrons in the centre of the road on The Front - that affect businesses and people’s safe enjoyment of Seaton Carew.

The Parking Plan also includes resident-only and business parking permit schemes and a clock disc system that limits parking in the car park within Seaton Park to 1 hour.

A series of public consultation meetings will be held over the summer ahead of a review of the Parking Plan at the end of October.

All are welcome and views expressed at these meetings will be fed into the review which will determine the permanent arrangements.

The first meeting will take place on Wednesday May 10 from 2-6pm at Seaton Carew Social Club and Institute in Station Lane.

Plans to start charging were approved at a meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee in February, despite objections from business and residents.

Organisers of a petition against the charges accused the council of ignoring the wishes of more than 3,500 people who signed it.

Speaking after the meeting, petition organiser Steve Gooderham 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."

But committee chairman Coun Marjorie James said the charges were ‘minimal’ and would help address problem parking: "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."