A new standardised scheme for parking permits has been approved by Lancashire County Council.
Residents will pay an annual £25 fee in areas where parking is permit-controlled – as will businesses in Preston and Chorley, which are among a handful of districts where business permits are issued.
Prices had previously varied across the county and, under the changes, the biggest price increase for residents will be £10 for the cost of a primary permit in Chorley and the largest decrease will be £50 for a visitor permit in Preston. Second permits for Preston households will also fall by £20.
Owners of electric vehicles will not have to pay for permits.
Meanwhile, the cost of business permits in Preston and Chorley will plummet by £100 and £195 respectively. But the price drop sparked anger from some residents during a public consultation into the changes earlier this year, amidst fears that it would encourage more businesses to buy permits – and leave householders facing a battle to find a place to park close to their homes.
Chorley Central county councillor, Steve Holgate, said that the changes rendered the permit system “no longer fit for purpose”.
“Each district within Lancashire has its own different town centre issues and requires slightly different solutions,” he warned, adding that a lack of enforcement made matters worse.
Denise Godsmark, who lives on Woodville Road in Chorley, also condemned the new system for not differentiating between households and businesses, which will be eligible to buy two permits.
"I counted 11 businesses along roads around here which is 22 potential business permits taking resident's spaces.
"I have also spoken to a few people who think it’s fine to park in my street without a permit - and then I have to put up with the abusive tongue, too.
"We residents pay to park in our streets and struggle day in and day out [to find a space] - we are most definitely getting the worst deal," Denise added.
In South Ribble, the sole residents’ permit available will fall in price by £4, while the current visitor book of permits covering 20 four-hour visits for £5 will be replaced with a single £25 visitor permit. No business permits will be available in South Ribble.
Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for highways, Keith Iddon, said that the standardised system was "working well" in the five districts where it had already been introuduced.