People could be made to pay to park outside their homes

People could be forced to cough up if they want a permit to park outside their own homes.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 4:59 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:09 am

Wakefield Council is proposing to introduce charges for residential parking permits.

And senior councillors will be asked to approve a consultation on the plans at a cabinet meeting next Tuesday.

Around 20,000 permits are issued in the district each year, across 100 parking scheme areas.

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Currently, each household within a parking area can receive up to six free permits and one free visitor permit. Businesses in affected areas can also apply for up to two permits.

But the council said budget cuts mean it no longer has the resources to subsidise the scheme and offer the permits for free.

Coun Matthew Morley, cabinet member for transport and highways said: “The parking permit process has been in operation for many years and urgently needs revising because it does not meet the needs of our residents or businesses.

“£144m has already been wiped off our budget by Government cuts and we are doing everything we can to protect front line services. This means that we no longer have to resources to manage the parking permit scheme, even at the current level of service.

“A chargeable service will enable us to improve the scheme, to ensure it is fit for purpose, as well as providing enhanced patrols and greater enforcement – a move that will reduce some of the parking issues many residents experience.”

The council said there was increased pressure on the available number of spaces, with rising demand. It said the scheme was “often abused, causing problems for residents and businesses”.

Two charging proposals are being considered.

The first option would see a £20 annual charge introduced for a permit for the first vehicle in each household, £30 for a second vehicle and £40 for a third.

The second proposal would see a flat rate of £30 per vehicle.

In both cases, the number of permits would be limited to three per household and the free for replacing a lost permit would be £20.

The council would also introduce ‘scratch card’ visitor permits at a cost of £1 each. To validate the permit, people would need to scratch off the date they wanted to use it.

Businesses would be able to apply for up to three permits, providing they do not have access to at least three off street parking permits, at a cost of £120 a year.

Permits for carers would be free.

The district would be divided into 30 zones and people with permits would be eligible to park in any street in that zone.

If cabinet agree, a consultation on the proposals is expected to begin next month.