COACH companies and town traders could suffer as parking charges could be increased and charges for coaches introduced.

Coaches of more than 11 seats and HGVs have been able to park in car parks across Ryedale for free for more than three hours, but under new proposals coaches would pay £10 for more than three hours, £5.60 for up to three hours and £3 for up to one hour. The possible introduction of charges was announced at a Ryedale Area Committee meeting and a decision will be made by North Yorkshire County Council.

Off-street parking could also rise by 10p for long and short-stay car parks, meaning a stay of more than six hours in a long-stay car park would cost £5.60.

Richard Marr, area highways manger for the county council, said that despite the introduction of charges, the cost was comparatively cheap to other regions. Permits for coaches would be introduced if the proposals are approved, costing from £100 up to £400. The cost of one-off event concessionary stays will remain the same at £1.50.