Beverley ward councilors have welcomed the new park-and-ride plans, saying it will boost tourism and reduce traffic congestion.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Denis Healy, of St Marys, said the plans were long overdue and followed several failed attempts by his party to push them forward.
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Cllr Paul Nickerson, a Conservative member of Minster and Woodmansey, said he and others also supported the plans despite previous skepticism about its benefits and cost.
Their comments come as plans for the Park and Ride were unveiled last week following studies of flooding and drainage in August.
Plans for the facility, north of Minster Way in Woodmansey, include 500 parking spaces and a bus connection to Flemgate Shopping Center in Beverley.
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The Park and Ride has been the subject of a long political battle between the ruling Tories and the opposition Liberal Democrats. The plans were first set out in the council’s local development strategy, with property developers expected to cover the estimated cost of Â£ 2.5million.
The Liberal Democrats have already pushed for the program to move forward using money from the board’s reserves that the developer would cover later.
But Conservatives, including those in the Beverley neighborhoods, resisted the plans, fearing that local taxpayers would be taken over if developers could not afford the cost.
Cllr Healy said plans for the Park and Ride were long overdue, calling an access road already built for the site a road to nowhere.
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The Liberal Democrat said: âPlans for a park and ride in Beverley have been in stock for five years, they were part of the local East Riding plan.
âThe benefits for Beverley are immeasurable, resulting in less pollution, better air quality and reduced congestion in the city center, as well as reduced pressure on existing parking spaces.
“The plans also arrive during the COP26 talks in Glasgow and they will help meet carbon neutrality goals.
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âBeverley is also growing as a tourist destination, we have weekend visitors not only from Hull but from South and West Yorkshire.
âSome would say it won’t result in much more parking due to the partial pedestrianization of the Saturday market, but the Liberal Democrats have always said it should go hand in hand with a park and ride.
âMy only regret is that it didn’t happen sooner.
“The Liberal Democrats have mentioned it four times at council meetings in the past two years, but the Conservatives have blocked it.
âBut we’re here now and I want to work with other advisers to get this across.
âOur argument was that the funding would have to come out of the board’s reserves to launch the program, but in the end, it was always the developers who were going to pay.
âWe talked to the council’s finance people about it, it would only have been an exercise on paper.
“The planning process will take a relatively long time, it will have to go to consultation so when the first shovel is dug remains to be seen.”
Cllr Nickerson said he and other members of the Conservative constituency were now ready to back the plans after concluding that the economic arguments were stacked up.
The advisor said: âThe Park and Ride will be a boost for tourism and a boost for jobs.
âWe were right to be skeptical at first, but we asked the officers to look into the matter and now we’re happy with it, it could bring tens of millions of dollars to the local economy in the years to come.
âThis has the potential to help the economy and make it easier to get around, most major tourist destinations have park-and-ride lots that are well used.
âThe Liberal Democrats’ plans would have left municipal taxpayers foot the bill for this, we have a budget deficit of Â£ 12million and the money in our reserves has been used for the coronavirus.
“The developer may not have remained solvent, there would have been a risk that we never got the money back and we said on principle that they should be the ones paying for it.”