'Great news' as Matlock Bath parking fees plan is scrapped
PROPOSALS to introduce parking charges on the streets of Matlock Bath have been scrapped after thousands of people protested.
Two petitions were lodged opposing plans for a pay-and-display scheme along North Parade, South Parade and Dale Road.
An online petition received 3,227 signatures and a paper version was signed by 3,293 people.
Among the signatories were Matlock Bath traders, who claimed it would lead to fewer people visiting the area and parting with their cash.
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Scores of bikers who regularly descend upon Matlock Bath also signed the petition.
Derbyshire County Council's strategic director for environmental services, Ian Stephenson, confirmed the proposal has been axed.
Tony Christodoulou, manager of Promenade Fish Bar, in North Parade, said he was pleased as he believed the charges would have harmed his business. He said: "The bikers were saying they would have to go elsewhere. I was worried I would lose customers. It would have been stupid to charge people to park. I'm glad the council has changed its mind."
The online petition was started by Sheffield Motorcycle Centre. The firm's director, Frank Hayes, said he was "absolutely delighted".
He said: "It's great news for Matlock Bath, for bikers and the local businesses. People will be hugely delighted. The council is to be applauded – they have listened to people."
The council had stood to rake in an estimated £75,000 a year if the new pay-and-display charges had gone ahead. Under the proposals, the pay-and-display scheme would have run between 10am and 6pm. Drivers were to be charged £1.30 to park on the street for up to an hour, £2 for two hours, £3 for three hours and £4 for four hours.
Motorcyclists would have been charged a reduced rate of 50p per hour.
Councillor Simon Spencer, cabinet member for highways and transport, explained the council's decision.
He said: "Some people in the village wanted it, others didn't and others wanted a different proposal. Until we've looked at all the implications of any change, a wise decision has been taken not to continue with the proposal at this time."