A LEADING councillor has described a controversial parking scheme as “a nonsense”.
Clr Donald Firth wants shopkeepers excused from the new disc parking system in Holmfirth.
An 18-month trial costing £70,000 begins in June.
Motorists will be able to buy a disc for £1 entitling them to park free in designated zones for a maximum of four hours. The discs will be valid for a month.
Parking will be free, providing the motorist doesn’t overstay.
The Kirklees Council scheme will operate every day between 8am and 4pm on Huddersfield Road, Station Road, Dunford Road, Greenfield Road, Woodhead Road and Cooper Lane.
But Clr Firth thinks business owners should be exempt from the scheme, to prevent them having to move their vehicles every four hours.
The Holme Valley South Conservative said: “I can’t see the common sense of giving the businessmen a permit to park from 8am to noon and then forcing them to go out and find another parking space. It’s a total nonsense.
“If disc parking goes ahead then the business people will need special permits to allow them to park all day.”
Clr Firth attended a public consultation on the scheme at Holmfirth Methodist Church on Saturday.
He believes opinion is divided on disc parking.
Clr Firth said: “People who came to the meeting were generally concerned and wanted to know more about it. Some of the residents like the idea and some don’t. The whole point of this consultation is to find out what people think.”
Clr Firth believes some action is needed to deal with parking in the popular tourist town.
He said: “We’ve got the same amount of parking spaces as we did 20 years ago but the number of cars has increased 50% and we don’t know how much it will increase by in the future.
“I’m not sure if disc parking is the answer but if enough people come and say they want it then we should do it, because something needs to be done.”
Clr Firth added that he believes park-and-ride could ease the town’s parking problems.
Holme Valley Business Association vice-president Greg Christofi shares Clr Firth’s concerns. He said: “People will have to close their shops to move their cars. Businesses in Holmfirth won’t sell the discs because they don’t believe in them.”
Mr Christofi is also worried that disc parking will cause tension between residents and visitors.
Although residents in the disc parking area will have special discs allowing them to park all day, they will not have designated spaces.
Mr Christofi said: “It’s going to create chaos. Imagine if you live there, going shopping and coming back to find someone in your space. There’s going to be a punch up!”
Mr Christofi believes the town needs extra parking.
He said: “We need another car park which will clear the streets so buses and lorries can get through.”