A proposal to raise the cost of residents’ parking permits by 220 per cent has prompted strong criticism from Rugby residents and councillors.
Warwickshire County Council has opened a consultation to gauge public feedback on a plan to increase the cost of on-street parking permits, move away from paper permits and to change visitor permits to counter misuse.
The annual cost of a permit is currently £25, with the council proposing to either raise that to £80, or to introduce a tiered system consisting of £35 for the first permit, £55 for the second and £80 for the third.
Visitors’ permits would cost £25 for 600 hours a year or £50 for 1,200 hours.
The changes could come into effect on April 6, 2020.
On its website the county council states: “Analysis of the financial impact on the council of running residents permit schemes shows a cost of close to £80 per permit.”
It adds that it has charged residents less for permits than it costs to administer them.
Adding: “We now have an unavoidable need to raise our charges to more closely meet our costs.”
But a document attached to the consultation page suggests another motivation for the price hike is to deter the use of cars.
It states: “To reduce the ever-increasing demand for parking in our busy boroughs and districts, we must
either limit the number of parking permits or increase their price to discourage the use of cars.
“Previously residents have said they were against limiting the number of permits available per household.
“Therefore we have set the permit prices with the aim of reducing the number of cars parked per household.”
Rugby Labour leader and county councillor Maggie O’Rourke, said: “Residents are extremely annoyed about these proposals and they have raised lots of questions with me and other local councillors which we will be asking Warwickshire County Council to answer.”
And borough Cllr James Sheera said: “Councillors will work with Benn Ward residents to ensure that their voices are heard. This would include asking WCC officers to meet with local representatives as soon as possible.”
To take part in the consultation, click here or call 01926 410410 to request a paper copy.