Time running out to have say on parking permit price hike in Norwich

The cost of parking permits in Norwich could go up.

The cost of parking permits in Norwich could go up. - Credit: Archant © 2008

Time is running out for people to have their say on proposals which would see a hike in how much they have to pay for parking permits across Norwich.

As part of a review of residential parking permits, council officers have made recommendations which would see permits cost more, with tighter controls on how many are issued.

Council bosses say that review has been triggered by complaints from people who cannot find spaces to park near their homes, misuse of permits and the levels of patrolling and enforcement.

And, under the proposals, it is suggested a 12-month short vehicle residents' permit increases from £17 to £19, a medium vehicle from £26 to £31 and a long vehicle from £38 to £46.

People will also have to pay extra for a second vehicle permit, while households eligible for on-street parking permits outside the city centre zone will be entitled to a maximum of two resident permits and one visitor permit from April next year.

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Householders in those streets who currently have more than two vehicles would be allowed to retain and renew any existing permits, but no further permits above that limit would be issued to existing or new residents.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said the scheme did not guarantee everyone a space, but did help make sure on-street parking was not used by people who do not live and work in the area.

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But they added: 'However, the permit scheme has now been running for 20 years and, over this time, the council has received a significant amount of feedback from residents and businesses concerned about the way in which some aspects of it works.

'As a result of the issues highlighted, we are proposing a number of important changes.

'Particular concerns have been raised about the lack of parking space, levels of patrolling and enforcement and misuse of permits in all permit parking areas, and about the number of permits issued.

'The aim of this review is to improve the scheme so it meets the needs of genuine users and achieves the council's objectives to manage travel and parking in the city effectively, with adequate resources we can ensure that the scheme is enforced effectively.

'This will be achieved by changing the range of permits offered, their terms of use, charges, exemptions and restrictions on permit entitlement.'

Other proposals include withdrawing business permits and what are known as statutory Q and community care Q permits, to be replaced with different sorts of permits allowing different periods of stay in certain areas.

The review would also mean a free visitor permit would be available for people on means tested benefit, but all other entitlements to free permits would be withdrawn.

A free permit currently offered for vehicles which use alternative fuels would also be scrapped.

Bert Bremner, cabinet member for planning and transportation at the city council, urged people to have their say and said he had asked people in his own University ward, where there have been long-standing issues around parking, about the proposals.

He said: 'From knocking on doors, phone calls, and surveys we've been doing all through the year we knew that parking is an issue, so we asked residents of University ward what they thought of three of the proposed changes to the parking permits.

'We received loads of responses with residents posting them or popping round to our doors to pop them through the letter box.

'The University ward response was a big yes to a maximum of two permits per household, but less than half thought the second permit should be more expensive.

'There was also a big no to green, low carbon vehicles getting free permits with the main reason being that they take up the same space.'

Following the responses from the public, members of the Norwich Highways Agency Committee will consider a summary of consultation representations in a report at their July meeting.

If the recommended changes are approved, then the changes to the permit scheme would be made by April next year.

People have until Friday, April 5 to have their say on the proposals. People can do so by emailing transport@norwich.gov.uk or by writing to Transportation, Norwich City Council, City Hall, St Peters Street, Norwich, NR2 1NH.

People are urged to include your contact details, giving their reasons and comments and to be specific about they support or do not support and how they will be affected by the proposals.

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