The cost of parking permits in residential areas across North Yorkshire is to increase for the first time in a decade in an effort to “make life easier for residents” by funding other crucial schemes in the county.
At £123,000 a year, it currently costs the county council more to run the service than any income it generates.
As a result it has not been able to roll out any other schemes to areas of need, despite numerous requests from residents in locations that are plagued by parked cars owned by people who don’t live there.
According to council figures, there are currently 30 enquiries relating to residential permit zones currently on hold.
Coun Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways, said: “The price of permits has remained unchanged for ten years and the cost of administering the service exceeds income by £123,000 a year. This has meant that for many years requests for new residential parking schemes, or alterations to existing ones, have had to be refused, unless there was third-party funding. Officers have been asked to provide a supplementary report setting out recommendations for a new pricing structure which is consistent throughout the county.”
Coun Mackenzie said the authority received the most complaints from residents in the county’s main urban areas, such as Harrogate and Scarborough.
He listed one example of a somewhere in need of a new scheme as the Saints estate, near Harrogate District Hospital, which is full of parked cars, from morning until night, five days a week.
He said: “Residents have been complaining but we haven’t been able to introduce residential parking schemes in recent years because it costs a lot of money and we have had no funding to do this. The increase in cost will give us more budget to deliver new schemes.”
In North Yorkshire, residents can currently expect to pay between £10 and £16 for a permit, which would allow them to park on the street near their property for one year.
Figures from similar authorities across the country show that this is significantly less than other areas, with East Riding of Yorkshire Council charging between £24 and £34 and Cambridgeshire charging between £52 and £81.
A recent report by the insurance firm Esure found that the average charge for a residents’ permit is £64 with the highest prices being over £300. However, these figures include major cities where the value of on-street space is at a premium.
Coun Mackenzie said: “It will allow us to better manage traffic in these areas in an effort to make life easier for residents. Currently streets are plagued by long-term parked cars, which are owned by people who don’t live there.
“It tends to be nearer the town centres and I also get complaints from residents about people parking on footpaths. A particular concern is over cars that park very close to driveways so people struggle to get in and out of their own homes.
“We are trying to get more order and more convenience for residents by introducing more schemes.
“Once we have agreed a simpler and consistent county-wide pricing structure we plan to amend the prices in the new financial year.”