Delay in start of Seaton Carew parking charges

Car parking at Seaton Carew . Picture by FRANK REID
Car parking at Seaton Carew . Picture by FRANK REID

The introduction of parking charges in Seaton Carew has been delayed.

The fees agreed by Hartlepool Borough Council were due to come into force on Saturday, April 1.

But the council says it still waiting to take delivery of 15 pay and display ticket machines.

The delay has been blamed on making the machines ready to accept new one pound coins.

Tony Hanson, the council’s Assistant Director (Environment and Neighbourhoods), said: “The supplier assured us that they would be able to meet our order in time for the scheduled start of parking charges on April 1 and we have expressed our disappointment over their failure to deliver.

“This is the knock-on effect of the introduction of a new £1 coin which has had a huge impact on our supplier’s workloads in respect of adapting existing pay and display ticket machines up and down the country.

“We are now liaising closely with them to try to resolve this matter.”

A council spokesman added: “The council is awaiting a delivery and commissioning date from its supplier.”

Visitors to Seaton Carew will be charged to park in the Coronation Drive, Rocket House and Coach Park car parks.

The charges are £1 for up to two hours, £1.50 for up to four hours and £2 for all day.

The decision has proved controversial with many residents, businesses and Seaton councillors.

A petition against the charges was backed by about 3,500 people.

But the council says the scheme is a seven-month pilot, running until October 31, and will be reviewed at the end of it.

It has also said the fees are due to budget deficits and the money generated will help to tackle unsafe parking in Seaton, including on pavements and in the middle of the road which affect businesses and visitors’ enjoyment.

The council has announced a series of public consultation meetings will be held over the summer ahead of the review.

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

The council says views expressed at the meetings will be fed into the review which will determine the permanent car parking arrangements for Seaton Carew.

Residents in a number of roads are being issued with parking permits as part of new zones in a bid to deal with displaced parking from paying car parks.

Resident-only and business parking permit schemes and a clock disc system limiting parking in the car park within Seaton Park to one hour will come into effect on Saturday as planned.