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Pay to park - on the street where you live

Up to £50 in permit charges on the way

Written by . Published on January 23rd 2012.

Pay to park - on the street where you live

Two-car households in Liverpool could soon be paying up to £50 a year in residential parking areas.

The move, agreed by cash strapped Liverpool City Council, will generate at least £900,000 a year.

Even the plumber popping around to fix
a burst pipe would be given a fine - unless you have paid for a visitor permit they can display

And as well as earning dosh for the issue of the permits, the council’s parking wardens patrolling residential zones could generate thousands of pounds by issuing tickets

As yet, no firm date had been earmarked for the implementation of the permit scheme, but it is understood to be in the next couple of months.

Council cabinet member Cllr Malcolm Kennedy says one free permit will be granted to homes in control areas – either for use on a car registered at the address or for a visitor’s permit.

A charge, likely to be £20 a year, will be introduced for a second car and £30 for subsequent passes.

It would mean homes with more than one vehicle and needing a visitor permit would face an annual fee of £50.

It will be the first time Liverpool has charged for parking permits, even though most other cities make residents pay between £10 and £30, though a parking permit around Manchester Deansgate will set you  back a few hundred pounds.

Permit Only
Currently, almost 50,000 car permits are issued on an annual basis to people living close to Anfield and Goodison as well as to parking troublespots such as areas close to hospitals.

Each car registered at an address in a control area qualifies for a permit and householders can also apply for one visitor permit or in some cases books of parking scratch cards.

I had predicted, for some time, the likelihood of charges for permits – it’s an untapped resource  when councillors are searching for new income streams.

Even the plumber popping around to fix a burst pipe would be given a fine - unless you have paid for a visitor permit they can display.

And if you are planning a kids’ birthday party during the control hours, forget it, or risk the celebrants ending up with a reminder of the happy event with a ticket.

Some may say it seems unfair to have a standard scheme for charging.  Residents’ parking around the two football stadiums was introduced because of the nightmare problem for thousands of residents living in terraced streets. Football fans parked as close to the stadiums as possible – and residents had to apply a siege mentality on match days. On-street parking for those people was the only option.

In some areas, many homes have driveways but prefer to leave their cars on the street. Maybe the charge should be imposed on homes with off-street parking, such as a driveway.

Some may support charging for permits on the basis that why should families on the big council estates, often without a car, pay through their council tax for people to be able to have the luxury of guaranteed on-street parking close to their homes.

The big danger in charging will be the potential in future years to use permits as a gold seam of income. Maybe the £20 a year per permit will eventually become £25, £50, £75 as other courses of income dry up. 

1,300 tickets on just one street

Parking permits are nothing new and they can be massively lucrative – especially if you fall foul of the "law".

Just one side street in Waterloo netted neighbouring Sefton Council a whopping £47,000 in 2010.

Ticket-happy traffic wardens handed out a mammoth 1,343 tickets – at £35 a pop - on Lorne Road.

Lorne Road, Waterloo - Google Maps-145214Pot of gold: Lorne Road,
The suburban stretch, off South Road, is home to a Post Office and the Crosby Housing Association charity shop, but has various complicated parking zones for residents, permit holders, disabled people and visitors.

Figures showed around 26 tickets were given to motorists on the street each week, with fines unpaid within 14 days going up to £70.

Last year the charity shop claimed wardens had made people "frightened" of making donations. It said people had to dump their gifts outside the shop, leading to donations being stolen overnight.

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AnonymousJanuary 24th 2012.

I live in the City Centre and will fall foul of the 'two car payment' rule, and I'm disgusted that the mistakes and mismanagement of council funds from local and central Government have led to this.

If there wasn't so much waste and sheer incompetence in the public sector (and having worked in the public sector for almost six years I feel fully justified in making that claim) there wouldn't be the need to find further ways of bleeding residents dry.

I realise that this might genuinely be the best of a bad bunch of options available, but the past mistakes of politicians is not a good enough reason to then enforce further payments on people who have no choice but to have the parking restrictions enforced upon them. After all, we haven't chosen to ask for these parking restrictions applied.

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