Drivers still forking out £20 to park in their own street '“ despite promises prices would be slashed

Dozens of residents are still being charged £20 to park in their street - seven months after the council decided to drop the price to just £5 a year.

Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 5:00 am
Grange Road parking, Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council agreed to reduce the charge “on gounds of fairness” but months on residents are still being forced to pay the higher charge.

Permit holders in Grange Road whose badges were up for annual renewal at the end of January were sent letters saying the charge was £5.

Grange Road parking, Hartlepool.

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But when they rang the council they were told it was a mistake and the price was still the higher £20 fee.

Councillors agreed an overhaul of the current permit charges at a meeting in July last year making it £5 for a household’s first permit anywhere in town.

But the change is still going through a legal process within the council and the new charges will be phased in when permits are up for renewal.

It means dozens of permit holder in Grange Road would have to wait almost another year before they can take advantage of the cheaper charge.

Grange Road parking, Hartlepool.

Grange Road resident Tafwar Hussain, 59, said: “If they are going to put the price down anyway why are the council taking £20 off people at the end of January?

“The meeting [when the £5 charge was agreed] was in July, how long does it take?

“Seven months is a long time. It should have been well and truly sorted by now.”

There are 2,000 resident permit holders in Hartlepool with the vast majority paying the cheaper £5 charge as they live close to the town centre.

Currently 190 residents pay £20. Households can have more than one permit.

Mr Hussain added: “We don’t mind paying £20 if we’re guaranteed a space outside our door but we’re not.

“Often we have to park in neighbouring streets where people pay £5.”

A council spokesman said: “Residential parking permits currently cost either £5 or £20 a year, depending on the zone the resident lives in.

“Unfortunately, due to an administrative error, the letter sent to the resident quoted the incorrect cost to renew their parking permit and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

“Changes to residential parking permit fees in Hartlepool have been approved by the Neighbourhood Services Policy Committee on the grounds of fairness and this will mean that all residents living in resident controlled parking zones will pay £5 a year for their first permit.

“This change is subject to a formal amendment of legal orders, at which stage a phased renewal of the new permit charges will take place as existing permits expire.”