City council plan to overhaul visitor parking permit scheme in Norwich

One of Norwich's parking permit zones.

One of Norwich's parking permit zones. - Credit: Archant © 2008

City councillors are set to signal the end of unlimited visitor permit parking in Norwich with plans to bring in new pay as you go scratch cards.

Proposals by Norwich City Council to overhaul the permit system in controlled parking zones are due to be discussed by members this week.

Under the plans, on-street parking permits, which currently cost £31, will be replaced by a £25 resident's visitor pack containing a two-hour limit waiting permit and ten pay as you go day permit scratch cards.

Up to 40 more day-long scratch cards a year can also be bought for £1 each under the proposals, which officers and leaders believe will stop some car owners from abusing the visitor parking scheme.

More than 1,000 visitor permits have been issued across the city and officials said that the illegitimate use of visitor permits was putting increased strain on the limited number of parking spaces. It follows a major review of parking in the city and a consultation of residents.

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Officers believe that the average driver will spend between £25 and £35 on visitor parking in Norwich under the proposed arrangement, compared with the £31 a year charge. However, car owners could spend up to £65 a year if they pay for 50 day-long scratch cards.

Under the proposed scheme, which will be discussed by members of the council's highways agency committee on Thursday, people on means tested benefits and those requiring long-term care would be exempt from the restrictions.

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Denise Carlo, Green councillor for Nelson ward and shadow transport portfolio spokesman, said: 'A tightening up of current visitors parking permits is necessary due to the unfortunate abuse of the generous system operated in Norwich. I welcome the flexibility to be given to residents needing long-term care in their homes and proposals for free visitor permit packs for households in receipt of mean tested benefits. In addition to the standard permit packs at £25 and day long permit scratch cards at a £1 each, I think that a third category of a three day permit at £3 for specific vehicles could be considered. For example, it would cover grown up children making regular weekend visits to their elderly parents over and above the maximum entitlement of 50 full day visits per year.'

A report to councillors said: 'No other council operates a visitor permit scheme as flexible and permissive as ours. In some areas, visitors are expected to use existing limited waiting, pay and display off-street public parking, whilst in others, visitor parking is allowed for a limited period on a pay as you go basis.'

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