CONCERNS have been raised that a key parking area in Pickering is under threat due to changes in parking enforcement.

A number of residents have said they have recently been given parking fines for leaving their cars on an area of extended footpath on the corner of Potter Hill.

Adam Simpson, who lives nearby, said the area had been used by people to park their vehicles for decades.

“Parking in Pickering along Southgate and Potter Hill is very sparse for residents and I feel that it is extremely unfair that these parking fines are being given out, especially as there has been no warning of the change,” he said. “Many other local residents and businesses are unhappy and upset because parking near our properties is difficult as it is.”

Councillor Linda Cowling, leader of Ryedale District Council and who represents Pickering, said she was concerned about the issue. “I know of no parking problems in the area. The only thing that has changed is the parking enforcement regime,” she said.

“Pickering cannot afford to lose potentially six parking spaces. Many houses in that area have no parking so this will force more cars to compete for the spaces available on the roadside.”

Her protests have been endorsed by Pickering Town Council.

Andrew Husband, the town clerk, said a decision had been made by North Yorkshire County Council to enforce restrictions despite its opposition. “What particularly annoys local people is that this area has not be subject to enforcement since its creation,” he said.

Mr Husband said parking enforcement officers have issued tickets on behalf of the county council.

“Several residents who park their cars on the path at the eastern end of Potter Hill at its junction with Westgate have been told they will be fined if they continue to park there. It’s nonsense.”

Phil Long, senior environment officer for Ryedale District Council, said the area was classed as a public highway.

“The restrictions apply to this piece of land which is why tickets have been issued,” he added.

Mr Long said the county council’s highways office will be asked if anything could be done to resolve the situation.