Thousands sign petition protesting about Norwich visitor parking permit changes
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014
Controversial changes to visitor parking permits in Norwich will come into force over the next few weeks - but almost 2,000 people have signed a petition urging the city council to think again.
Visitor permits – which cost £31 per year – are being replaced by a £19 permit allowing parking for up to four hours.
For central area residents additional £1 daily scratch-card permits, sold in packs of 10, will be available for longer visits, but these will be limited to 60 a year per household.
People in outer districts, such as the Golden Triangle, will be able to buy permits at half-price.
In consultation over the scheme, there were 239 responses, with just 27 people in support of the idea.
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There were fears that the 60-visit cap would have an impact on some of the city's most vulnerable, because those in need of carers or child care are likely to pass the limit.
And an on-line petition has been set up on www.change.org, urging the city council to scrap the proposed changes.
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More than 1,900 people have added their names to the petition. One of them is Jack Lyons, who recently moved to Thorpe Hamlet from the Golden Triangle.
He said: 'The council is currently going massively against public opinion with various changes. After the council's so-called 'public consultation' on the closure of Park Lane, that highlighted how little local residents were made aware and given the chance for feedback, they are now doing the same with the changes to parking permits.'
He said the council ought to focus on dealing with the people selling their permits to commuters, rather than changing the permits.
But Bert Bremner, the council's cabinet member for environment and sustainable development, said: 'One of the major complaints throughout the city was about the visitor permits being misused.
'The changes are to make sure parking is available for those who need it. We feel that the new visitor permit scheme will cater for the majority of residents while minimising misuse of the system.
'In situations such as where people need long-term care, it's still possible to make special arrangements through the council.
'The changes will only kick in for existing permit holders when they next come to renewing them.'
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