HOLIDAY cottage owners could be urged to ask visitors to use car parks in a bid to ease on-street parking congestion in Settle.

The town council is to look into approaching the owners of self-catering cottages, particularly those in the older parts of Settle where the roads are narrower.

Settle Town Council would appeal to landlords, asking that they encourage holidaymakers to leave their vehicles in Greenfoot, Ashfield or Whitefriars car parks, rather than take up spaces on the side of the road.

Chairman Coun Beth Graham asked on Monday: "Would it be worth sounding out some of the holiday cottage proprietors? We could point out the difficulties with on-street parking and ask them to point out that we have car parks. We don't want to have yellow lines all over the place."

Residents claim Settle faces increasing pressure over on-street parking as motorists act to avoid paying charges to use Craven District Council's car parks.

Bond Lane has already been described as being like a car park.

At the town's annual parish meeting last month, residents feared the problem would worsen as the cost of permits increases. There have also been fears of car-clogged streets making it impossible for ambulances or fire engines to get through.

Coun Tom Foster said: "We should ask the Tourist Information Centre if they would encourage using the car parks when anyone inquires."

An approach was made to guest house and bed and breakfast proprietors in the past asking for guests to use the car parks, the council heard.

Clerk Peter Leng said businesses had done this, but most visitors chose not to take up the suggestion.

A sub-committee of Settle Town Council, consisting of councillors Foster, Geoff Craven and Barbara Middleton, was set up to investigate the possible introduction of a residents-only parking scheme to cover the town. They are to consider the approach to holiday cottage proprietors.

North Yorkshire County Council has criteria which must be met before it will allow residents-only schemes to be introduced.

There must be 80 per cent of available space occupied most of the day of which 40 per cent of vehicles must belong to non-residents and 50 per cent of residents must have no access to convenient off-street parking, said Coun Graham.

"We ought to try and get some informal counting done ourselves. I would rather we did our own counting so we can trust their counting when they do it," she added.

Meanwhile residents in Northfields and Marshfield Road have asked the council to set up a meeting with the highways authority to look at ways of cutting speed on their streets.

Coun Foster said he had been approached by young mums concerned for their children's safety.

The issue will be discussed by the recreation and amenities committee, particularly with regard to finding out the views of all the residents in the two areas.

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