'Parking permits must stay' but 433% rise in charges is 'immoral'
MOTORISTS living in permit-only parking zones say the scheme must continue – but that a 433 per cent rise in charges is "outrageous and immoral".
As reported, North East Lincolnshire Council has sent letters to 1,045 households in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, explaining that the price of residential parking permits will rise from £15 a year to £80 from November 1.
And unless 70 per cent of affected homeowners indicate they're happy to pay the increased charges, the scheme could be scrapped altogether.
At a meeting of the Park Ward Action Group, at St Augustine's Church Hall, Grimsby, residents said they would be happy to pay a small increase to ensure the scheme continues – but only if it is properly enforced.
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Kim Bullen, who lives in Somersby Street, urged residents to respond to the council's consultation letter confirming they want a permit parking scheme, but that the planned price hike is too much.
She added: "The consultation hasn't been long enough, but we need to reply to ensure the scheme continues.
"The council needs to justify what the money raised is going to be used for, and we should all use Freedom of Information requests to ask for costings and details of where the figures came from.
"We must respond to the consultation so that we meet the 70 per cent target for the scheme to continue, but we should state that we don't know whether it should continue or not because we haven't got the full facts."
Jane Whitfield, who has lived in Abbey Road West for 30 years, added: "We have people parking outside our homes for hours on end, even though they are only permitted to stay for one.
"The issue is that the scheme isn't policed now while we pay £15, and it won't be policed when we pay £80 either.
"I wouldn't mind paying a bit more if there were parking wardens actually patrolling the area, but the council hasn't got the resources to do that and there's no guarantee the extra revenue will be spent on it, either."
Residents claim both hospital and council staff park their vehicles in the permit-only zones because they know there are no wardens patrolling.
Alan Waumsley, who lives near Grimsby's Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, added: "We have a situation where cars park so close to our gate that we have to squeeze past them to get out. It's because hospital staff are parking outside our property from 8am to 8pm and we are being asked to pay even more each year to subsidise them."
Councillor Andrew DeFreitas, who represents the Park ward, said: "We have a lot of very, very angry people. Residents clearly want there to be a parking permit scheme, but it must be fairly priced.
"The issue is that if residents say the current scheme isn't properly enforced, the council will claim it is because they need to increase charges to manage it properly.
"However, increasing it to £80 is ridiculous – £40 would be much more sensible."
As reported, under the new rules, households with two vehicles will be charged an extra £100 for a second pass – also previously £15 – and businesses, £150 per pass, which equates to a 900 per cent rise.