A TRIAL disc parking scheme is set to hit Holmfirth next year.
The £70,000 experiment, due to start in June 2008, is designed to improve the availability of on-street parking for residents around the edge of the town centre.
It will restrict non-residents to four-hour stints during office hours, banning them after 4pm.
The scheme is now approaching its final hurdle after it was given the go-ahead by Holme Valley South councillors. It now only requires Kirklees Council Cabinet approval.
Clr Nigel Patrick, chairman of the Holme Valley South Area Committee, said while the ultimate decision would be made by council bosses, there would be on-going consultation with the public and the scheme could be scrapped if it was unpopular.
“We hope that this scheme will help resolve many of the parking problems that residents have been experiencing,” he said.
“Places like Dunford Road that are currently 24-hour residents’ only will be freed up to anyone for limited times during the day.
“But by the time people get home from work their space will be free again,” he added.
Highways Officer, Chris Platts, said: “The council thought they had better do something about the conflict between residents, businesses and visitors. We’re not magicians, we’re not going to solve every single problem everybody’s got, but this scheme is going to give locals more of a fighting chance than they’ve presently got.”
The new system will offer two types of disc – a free-of-charge residents’ disc for those living on the affected roads, and month-long visitors’ discs, available from shops for £1.
Mr Platts said they would be talking to people road by road in a bid to fine tune it.
The town’s parking wardens would hand out £30 fines to illegally parked vehicles – increasing to £60 for late payers, although first offences would only result in a warning notice.
Holme Valley parish councillor Trevor Bellamy said he supported the measures but he was concerned about the impact to the tourist trade.
He said: “Will it put them off? tourism is very important in Holmfirth.”
A number of residents were concerned at the cost of the scheme and the increase in the amount of street signage saying that narrow footpaths and roads would be even more congested and blind or disabled people would find it more difficult to move about.
Clr Patrick said they had originally planned to include the town centre, but as they had just got rid of a lot of signage there they were reluctant to reverse that good work.
Mr Platts said while he was concerned about the number of signs, there was a legal requirement to notify the public about the zones.
If approved, the disc parking trial will last for a maximum of 18 months.
Kirklees Council Cabinet will consider the scheme for approval on October 31.