REVEALED: The Norwich streets where there are more parking permits than spaces
PUBLISHED: 15:42 25 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:28 17 September 2019
The city council has dished out hundreds more parking permits than there are spaces available in some parts of Norwich.
The Golden Triangle and Magdalen Road area are just two of the places where Norwich City Council (NCC) has sold more permits than there are available parking spaces.
A Freedom Of Information Act request today reveals the amount of permits NCC has handed out compared to the amount of spaces available in each controlled parking zone.
The total amount of spaces that are available for parking in Norwich city centre add up to 20,699, and the council has sold 14,122 permits.
But there are zones across the city that have seen as many as 156 extra permits sold. This does not include the 110,000 visitor day scratch cards and about 5,000 business permits in use.
A Norwich City Council spokesman said: "We have always been clear that the implementation of a permit scheme does not and cannot guarantee a parking space.
"Residents are entitled to a fixed number of permits per household. If the household is eligible we will always issue permits up to the entitlement."
In total, 15 zones in Norwich city centre have too many cars with permits for the amount of spaces. This leaves 981 residents who have paid for permits struggling to find a space.
An 18-month permit costs between £30.90 and £73.20, depending on the vehicle size.
Zones T and S in the Golden Triangle are the most overcrowded with more than 300 extra permits being given to residents.
Zone Z, towards Richmond Hill is another overflowing area with almost 110 additional permits being sold by the council.
A resident who has lived in the Golden Triangle for more than 40 years, said: "In my road there are 17 households, there is space on the street for perhaps six cars to park safely, by which I mean allowing emergency vehicles to access all the homes on our street. The demand for them is constant."
Permit schemes aim to ensure that parking is available to local residents only and prevent parking in streets by commuters and shoppers.
A typical parked car would take up somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5 metres depending on the length of the car and how considerately it is parked.
The resident continued: "Not only are they [the parking spaces] used by our street's householders, but they are also filled by permit holders from elsewhere within controlled parking zone S.
"I do believe that the excess demand got these parking spaces could create serious difficulties for the emergency services, or indeed for anybody else who requires access to homes."
The city council restrict permit entitlement to eligible properties only, and are only given to properties that existed when the zone was implemented.
Emma Corlett, county councillor for the Town Close ward, believes more should be done to encourage people to use public transport.
She said: "We are facing a climate emergency. If we are serious about tackling that then there is going to have to be some significant behaviour change in terms of car ownership and use.
"The county council should be investing massively in public transport infrastructure to make it easier and cheaper for people to travel around the county and meet our obligations for carbon reduction, rather than spend millions on unnecessary and damaging road projects like the Western Link."
Ms Thomas is not the only resident to have problems with controlled parking zones, Margretha Hodgson who lives on Silver Road also has problems daily.
"If people parked with care and consideration, you could park say 15 cars, however because people are not parking correctly space reduces down to maybe seven with a tremendous amount of wasted space.
"The council is happy to take the money for permits but will tell you that just because you have one there is no guarantee of parking near your premises, you can park anywhere within your zone. My question is, what do I actually pay for?"
In 2018 families living close to the University of East Anglia also complained that recent changes to parking permit zones have made it nigh-on impossible to park near their homes.
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NCC said: "We have reviewed our permit scheme and we encourage the take-up of the car club.
"We would have to consult all residents further if we were to restrict permits to one per household across the city and take into account all the responses we received"
Permitted zones among the highest for parking fines
With the council over selling permits in city centre zones how many people are receiving tickets?
The worst hit areas for motorists being given parking charge notices (PCNs) were in the city centre, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Colegate, located within the St Clement permit zone (SC), saw around 1,000 fines dished out in one year, the most out of any area in Norwich.
The value of the 931 parking tickets given out in on Colegate alone, added up to £61,650.
In the same zone, Norwich City Council have over sold 50 permits compared to the amount of spaces.
Other permitted streets where parking fines were given include St Giles Street and St Benedicts Street (zone GIL) and Rouen Road (zone SJ).
PCNs can be issued for either £50 or £70, and last year more of the higher charges were issued at St Benedicts Street compares to St Giles Street.
Permits in the press
- In June 2018, councillors agreed to permit restrictions in a popular matchday spot, leaving Norwich City fans having to hunt even harder for parking on match day.
A number of roads in the Thorpe Hamlet became 24-hour permit zones and Thorpe Road had double yellow lines added.
- In September 2018, council bosses recommended an increase in the price of permit parking for residents living in the city area by £3 per year.
The increase, which sees 25p added to the monthly cost of permits, is estimated to raise in the region of £45,000 for the council.
- In October 2018, families living close to the University of East Anglia said changes to parking permit zones have made it nigh-on impossible to park near their home.
At the beginning of September 2018, several roads in the West Earlham area were included in a roll-out of new permit zones by the city council.
- In March 2019, the council agreed to roll out 'virtual' parking permits across the city to decrease their paper trail.
This would see traffic wardens equipped with hand-held devices which would be able to ascertain if a vehicle has a valid permit through its registration number.