Views are being sought on proposed changes to parking arrangements in County Durham.
Durham County Council has launched a consultation on proposals which are aimed at helping people access parking provision, supporting the county’s town centres and tourist attractions, and benefiting the environment.
The suggested changes include a proposal to introduce pay and display charges in coastal areas, at Seaham and Crimdon.
The council is currently the only local authority along the North East coast that does not charge for parking.
The authority is also proposing the introduction of Sunday charges in Durham City, alongside the extension of some Durham City Park and Ride services to include Sundays. These park and ride services would be at a lower cost than the proposed parking charges.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, the council’s cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “What we are proposing would bring many benefits to communities, the wider economy and the environment.
“Charges are widely used to control parking availability and support the commercial viability of town centres and attractions by increasing turnover of spaces in areas where there is high demand.
“They improve parking availability for residents and visitors, and in turn, increase the number of people coming into communities and spending money.
“What we are proposing would also address some of the issues that residents in coastal communities in particular raise with us, such as that of badly parked vehicles obstructing access.
“Our plans would also help lower emissions and improve local air quality, by reducing the need for drivers to circulate around car parks multiple times until they find a space, or queue for one to become vacant.
“We are pleased to be proposing increased park and ride access to Durham which again is aimed at lowering emissions by reducing traffic coming into the city.
“Our aim is that by providing park and ride journeys at a lower price than parking charges, we would be benefitting the environment by reducing traffic and lowering emissions.”
The proposals would create an income stream to fund the management and maintenance of the council’s parking facilities, at a time when the authority is having to make £16.3m in budget savings for 2024/25.
For full details of the proposed changes to parking, and to complete an online survey, visit Car parking charges and tariff review – Durham County Council
The consultation runs until 5pm on Monday, November 13.