Council set to increase cost of parking permits for Northampton residents

Residents of Abbey St, St james are concerned about proposed rises to parking permit scheme.'Front - Dylan Huggins'Back L-R Jill Hope, Mair Huggins, Lesley Brett and Keith Bennett. NNL-140921-231055009
Residents of Abbey St, St james are concerned about proposed rises to parking permit scheme.'Front - Dylan Huggins'Back L-R Jill Hope, Mair Huggins, Lesley Brett and Keith Bennett. NNL-140921-231055009

A new £35 charge for a visitor’s parking permit is set to be introduced in Northampton as part of a county council plan to raise an extra £120,000 a year and ensure the scheme is “cost neutral”.

During the past six months Northamptonshire County Council has organised two public consultations about possible changes to the costs and management of the parking permit schemes in areas such as The Mounts, St James, Billing and Spring Boroughs.

It is a Marmite situation. You are never going to get everyone to be totally happy with it.

Graham Croucher

Following analysis of the responses of the second consultation, a set of final proposals has been put forward, including an increase of the cost of the residents’ annual permit from £25 to £35 and a new £35 charge for an annual visitor permit; currently they are free of charge.

The county council is also proposing a cap of two residents permits per property in all permit zones and the introduction of a £10 permit for carers and health care workers.

The cost of the annual business permit is also set to go up from £250 to £350 a year and the council is planning to restrict the number of permits issued to new developments and properties of multiple occupancy.

Figures detailed in a document due to be discussed at a cabinet meeting next Tuesday state the county council, which took over enforcement of the parking zones in 2006, is currently making a £120,000-a-year loss as the scheme costs almost £180,000 to run and brings in less than £60,000.

The paper states the permit prices have not increased in the past 10 years and the current scheme was “not financially viable”.

It states: “The aim of the review is to ensure that permit parking schemes in Northamptonshire operate on a cost-neutral basis.”

Cabinet members have been invited to approve the changes.
Four petitions, including 367 names, were sent to the county council in objection to the plans to increase the cost of parking permits.

In St James, almost 300 people objected to the plans, however, Graham Croucher, secretary of the residents’ association, said people were happy the council had backed down on initial proposals to raise the price of the permits to £60.

He said: “It is a Marmite situation. You are never going to get everyone to be totally happy with it.

“It was never going to stay at £25, but the fact it hasn’t gone up to £60 is a result for residents.”