Drivers who use residents’ priority parking schemes in Doncaster could see the cost of a permit increase by 400 per cent as part of council cuts.
Under the proposals, Doncaster Council would remove its subsidy for the scheme, increasing the annual permit charge from £5 to £25.
Officials say the only alternative is to scrap the schemes altogether and go back to a parking free-for-all. The council says it wants to consult with residents on the parking proposals, which are among the measures the council is considering to help it find £109 million of budget savings over the next three financial years.
Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “The consultation is to ask whether residents wish to proceed with parking permit schemes, given that the cost of such schemes will no longer be able to be subsidised.
“I believe residents’ priority parking schemes, which are designed to offer residents priority parking status close to where they live, are excellent, as they enable areas popular with commuters and visitors – like the town centre and hospital – to be available for local residents and businesses.”
The news of the possible rise comes as residents near Doncaster Royal Infirmary are bidding to introduce permit schemes near their homes.
They fear the consultation could hit their hopes of having a scheme brought into operation. One campaigner said she would accept the increase if it meant the scheme stopped their current parking problems.
Residents on Woodhouse Road in Wheatley, and on neighbouring streets, say they have been campaigning for a parking permit scheme in their area for years. It was due to be introduced in March.
They say they are extremely ‘upset’ and ‘frustrated’ by the proposals, with the introduction of the scheme being put on hold, possibly for good.
Residents in the area say they have been fighting for the scheme because of problems they say they have experienced with members of staff from the hospital using their roads as overspill parking, with some NHS employees parking up for 12 hours at a time.
Campaigner Chris Foster, of Woodhouse Road, said if the council scraps the parking permit scheme it will be ‘a massive waste of taxpayers’ money’.
The 59-year-old said: “The parking situation has been very frustrating for a lot of people who live here, and just as the council promises to finally sort it out they tell us it’s going to have to be put on hold.
“It’s ridiculous. We’ve been fighting for this for so long and we are not going to give up now.
“We don’t mind paying a bit of extra money. We just want to finally be able to park outside our house without any problems.”
The alternative proposal to a price increase is to remove the priority parking schemes across the borough.
“That would mean the streets returning to free unrestricted parking for anyone, which was the case before the scheme.
The council says consultation will help inform decisions on the parking permit scheme with implementation of the changes expected to start from April.