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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Neighbours wage war over parking permit charges

Neighbours on a Workington street have launched a campaign to try to halt plans for paid-for residential parking permits.

People living in Chambers Street said they would object to paying a proposed £20 administration cost for the new permits, which Cumbria County Council aims to introduce.

The move comes amid growing protests from West Cumbrian traders and residents against the county council’s plan to roll out on-street parking charges.

The council last week decided that 11 towns across the county were suitable for parking meters, including Workington, Maryport, Cockermouth and Keswick.

Residents would have to buy permits to park near their homes.

However, councillors said that if large numbers of people on certain streets objected, the council could lift restrictions there.

Richard Coyles, 66, and Colin Dixon, 74, are leading their neighbours in writing to the council over the plans.

Mr Coyles said: “It’s ridiculous. How are people meant to afford this?

“Other areas won’t have to pay for permits, so why should we be penalised for living near the town centre? The council is trying to take advantage.”

Continued on page 2

From page 1

Chambers Street is at present a two-hour disc parking zone.

Mr Dixon added: “At the moment the council issues permits to residents every year. I have suggested that they should issue them indefinitely to save on administration costs.

“They are suggesting a £20 charge to start with, but how much is this going to go up every year?”

The council argues that street parking charges, which will be slightly higher than equivalent off-street car park charges, will encourage people to leave spaces outside shops and increase vehicle turnover and footfall.

Jo Stephenson, deputy council leader, said the council had to find savings and the alternative to parking charges would have included closure of fire stations, libraries and household waste disposal sites.

But traders in Workington town centre fear that parking meters will deter shoppers.

Carol Lister, manager of W Gourlay, on Finkle Street, said: “It will just make the town worse than it is already. The 30-minute parking has already deterred a lot of people.”

Louise Herron, manager of Pets Paradise, Finkle Street, said: “That wouldn’t do us much good at all especially if someone is just quickly nipping in for a bag of food. They won’t want to pay to park. It will definitely affect our business.”

Kaylee Clark, owner of Purple Cherry Coffee Shop, Finkle Street, said: “The council ought to be focusing on what they can do to bring people into the town, not putting shoppers off.”

Graeme Cameron, owner of Sole It Lock It, on Murray Road, said: “There should still be half an hour free, otherwise they’re just taking more money out of people’s pockets and squeezing what they can.”

Former Workington mayor Councillor Andrew Lawson, 23, said: “When the local economy is struggling it is a bad idea to introduce a car parking charge. The status quo with the disc parking scheme is fine.

“I would like them to drop the idea. I am sure they can find another way to save money.

“I think it could affect local businesses and jobs could be lost. It is a risk that is not worth taking.”

All Conservative members on the county council have signed a petition against the charges.

l Councillor Keith Little, county highways spokesman, says why controversial on-street parking charges are needed – Page 23

Have your say

This is just a lazy way to obtain more revenue .The charge is more than the processing costs. If the council acted on my complaints on illegal parking and issued fines to the culprits. The council would be better off.

Posted by a yeoman on 6 June 2014 at 09:11

Jo Stephenson, deputy council leader, said the council had to find savings and the alternative to parking charges would have included closure of fire stations, libraries and household waste disposal sites.

So why should it be a minority of the population be funding the council. What are the admin costs? They don't add up to £5. To cut cost why not issue permits when residents change their car? Probably because it won't gather the revenue this County Council wants to impose on a minority. It's a money making exercise targeted at a minority voted for by every voting labour councillor.

Posted by Christian St Resident on 4 June 2014 at 18:57

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