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Exclusive: Doorstep parking at a price?

Will Liverpool citizens soon have to pay for the convenience of parking outside their own homes?

Published on April 7th 2010.

Exclusive: Doorstep parking at a price?

AN EAGLE-EYED Liverpool Confidential ranter spotted the possibly and alerted our readers a few days ago.

Given the fact most other places do charge for permits, it is logical to think the days of free permits in Liverpool are numbered

Was this an April Fools’ Day joke, or will 42,000 Liverpool householders soon have to start digging intro their pockets to pay for those priceless permits to park outside their own front doors?

We thought it was time to sort out the fact from the fiction.

Currently people living in areas where residents' parking schemes apply can apply for permits. This entitles them to park outside or as close as possible to their homes, including pay-and-display bays in and around the city centre.

The city is split into different zones and residents must park in streets designated as part of their own zone.

To qualify you have to prove you have a vehicle registered at your address. Additionally residents living within permit zones can apply for visitor vouchers. Currently 10 books each containing 10 vouchers are issued to residents. This ensures tradespeople and your auntie can park without being booked.

The biggest residents' permit zones are around the football grounds where parking is a nightmare on match days. There are also schemes around the city centre, stretching from Old Hall Street right up into Canning Street in Liverpool 8.

Currently the permits and vouchers are issued free of charge, and currently there are 42,000 permits in use.

Now for the (potentially) bad news. Liverpool is one of the few cities in the country issuing permits without charge. Some cities, like Newcastle and Sheffield, issue permits at a token fee (£20 or £10) to cover admin costs.

A group of councillors sitting on the Parking Scrutiny Panel recently received a presentation from traffic management officer Andy Barr. His report examined the average cost of establishing a resident’s parking scheme (£50,000) and the growing demand for more schemes from people living close to hospitals and university campuses.

(view report here)

The report then listed towns and cities which charge as well as the handful offering free permits.

The councillors agreed to visit two cities to see how their schemes operate – one with free permits and one city which charges.

The city they chose to visit with permit charges is Manchester. Currently the central area of Manchester is split into three zones with residents needing a permit depending on their address.

Permits in Manchester do not come cheap. The charge for the most expensive permit is just under £350, with the cheapest still costing over £100.

There’s nothing to suggest Liverpool will introduce a Manchester-style pricing regime. But given the financial restraints on local government, and given the fact most other places do charge for permits, it is logical to think the days of free permits in Liverpool are numbered.

If Liverpool charged a nominal £10 a year it would raise £420,000 plus the cost of visitor vouchers which would also be paid for. Make it a modest £25 a year and the income is topping £1m.

It is not a political matter as such, as it is, it may prove hard to justify a permit scheme subsidised by the rest of the council taxpayers, including non-car owners who have to pay bus and train fares.

Politicians can play a part though – by determining that any charging regime for residents' parking will only cost enough to cover the administrative fees.

The danger is once a charging scheme is introduced it could be viewed as a significant cash generator for the city treasury.

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12 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Ash PhaltApril 7th 2010.

No-one has the right to park their cars on the road, even outside their own homes.The current record high fuel prices are caused by profiteering and speculation in the industry, not taxes and duties.Of course you want parking restrictions removed, until someone else parks outside your house.

Parking BannedApril 7th 2010.

What a rip-off. Charging for permits will become a new form of stealth council tax for householders. I'm amazed there isn't an uproar over this. Within a couple of years those in areas where there are residents parking schemes are going to be paying through the nose. This is a wake-up call.

AustinApril 7th 2010.

Parking in Manchester is expensive, but then it's a place worth parking. I wouldn't pay to park in crappy old Canning Street.

Nosey ParkerApril 7th 2010.

I bet the money-counters in the City Treasury are rubbing their hands with glee at this one. Watch out householders you'll be digging deep very soon.

Steven AshleyApril 7th 2010.

The council will view this as a tax and the cost of it will creep up. Why don't they remove a lot of the yellow lines; that would save a fortune along with the street furniture that goes with them. Our towns would be less congested as there would be fewer drivers going around in circles looking for parking spots. The shope would do more business. We didn't used to have all of these parking restrictions. I know there are more cars now, but there is also fewer places in which to park them. We laready pay road tax. I thought that entitled one to park ones car on the road? Next it'll be congestion charging in every city. So then we'll pay hefty fuel taxes, hefty parking fees and will have to pay to get into the city. Not the brightest way for a city council to promote its shopping areas is it? isay that parking charges and many yellow lines should be abolished - there's no need for either in order to control traffic flow.

TourmanApril 7th 2010.

Anybody know where Andy Barr lives? I bet it is not in a residents parking zone. It is time to stop this nonsense were the motorist is the cash cow to pay for the 5 a day officers and the climate change merchants and all the other trendy causes this council indulges in. What do we want FREE PARKING and when do we want it NOW. Don't vote for a councilor unless they agree to support free parking.

Wheel Meat AgainApril 7th 2010.

The pound is worth fcall because the country itself has no reserves (the bulk of Britain's gold was sold a few years ago at a fifth of its present value) and because the Treasury has issued so many Gilts that the markets are flooded with them. There's more to it than that of course but the bankers just did what comes naturally to them. It's government's job to control these matters but almost all our politicians are too naive to see what was happening. And thus we have petrol at £1.20 a litre which affects our whole economy.

Vauxhall VictorApril 7th 2010.

Motorists! Always hard done-to, always the whingeing victim and it's always someone else's fault!

DriveMeMadApril 7th 2010.

Some people drive me round the bend. Many of those demanding resident parking schemes live in houses with driveways. They just can't be bothered putting their cars in garages or driveways, or else have two or three cars and need road space as well for parking. Make them all pay up, the miserable so and so's.

Wheel Meat AgainApril 7th 2010.

The current high petrol prices are mainly a result of the pound being worth fcall against the dollar and big oil taking the p.

Al LegroApril 7th 2010.

If parking was free there'd be five other drivers who would have beaten you to it. There are too many cars, too little space. Space must be rationed and paid for.Ask that nice Mr. Cameron about market forces.

DigApril 7th 2010.

Also in Japan they have something called 'Co-Generation' which is something I'm amazed other nations haven't embraced.

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