Derby

Matlock parking charges for bikers approved despite protest

Bikers Image copyright Midlands Riders
Image caption The bikers' machines are considered a tourist attraction by many visitors to Matlock Bath

More than 4,500 bikers who opposed the introduction of parking charges in the Derbyshire village of Matlock Bath have seen their protest fail after the county council voted in the plans.

The bikers rode into the town in March in a show of opposition to Derbyshire County Council's proposals to charge car drivers and motorbikes.

Their machines are considered a tourist attraction by most visitors.

Chris Thomson, of Midlands Riders, said he was "disappointed" by the decision.

Image copyright Midlands Riders
Image caption More than 4,500 bikers from across the country rode into the area to protest against the plans

The newly-approved scheme, which had been revised after proposals were originally dropped in 2012, will see motorcyclists pay 50p per hour for a maximum of two hours on North and South Parade.

It was previously free to park in bays in those two areas for a one-hour limited stay. Car parking charges will remain the same.

The BBC understands the scheme could generate up to £70,000 per year.

Image copyright Midlands Riders
Image caption Chris Thomson, who took part in the protests in March, said he was "disappointed" by the council's decision
Image caption The scheme could generate £70,000 per year, the BBC understands

Mr Thomson said more than 7,500 people also signed petitions opposing the plans, which were approved earlier on Tuesday.

"We put everything into it," he said. "It's such a lot of effort gone to waste now. The area is not going to be like it was."

Image caption Derbyshire County Council said pay and display parking will "help to increase visitor numbers"

A council spokesman said the scheme also means parking on Dale Road will increase from one hour to four hours.

The authority said motorbikes were "an important part" of the Matlock Bath economy, and added pay and display parking will "help to increase visitor numbers".

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