Harrogate Christmas market: Organisers defend coach charges

first_imgParking price up to £96, but that goes on ‘various costs behind not-for-profit event’The organisers of Harrogate Christmas Market have defended the coach parking charge regime that applies for 2019’s event. It will see a maximum fee of £96 per day levied on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 November.The four-day market runs from Thursday 14 November. Parking on the two weekdays costs £60 per day. Minicoaches with up to 18 seats pay half the above prices. Any bookings made after 31 October will attract a 50% surcharge.Cost incurredOrganiser Brian Dunsby says that charges go towards various costs associated with provision for coaches. Among them is additional location security, with the Police having aired concerns about use of a vehicle as a weapon.Additionally, the local authority requires reimbursement for suspended car parking space that will be used for coaches. Signage and stewarding, traffic control and hiring of coach parking areas must also be factored in, says Mr Dunsby.“This is a voluntary, not for profit event. Any surplus generated is donated to local charities that also look after visitors to Harrogate.“We ask coach operators to pre-book their expected arrival times, although we are flexible and try to accommodate them as and when they arrive. We are strict on departure times and schedule slots every 15 minutes for up to 10 coaches together.”‘No complaints’In 2018, 144 coaches visited Harrogate Christmas Market. Mr Dunsby says no complaints were received. Instead, many drivers and operators reported that the system works well for them and passengers.During the market’s duration Harrogate’s usual coach drop off, pick up and parking areas are closed. Coaches for which parking has not been booked in advance will be turned away.Parking on Thursday and Friday will be at Rudding Park and on Saturday and Sunday at Harrogate College. A café and toilet facilities are available for drivers close to each locationlast_img

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