Doncaster parking permit charge outrage

Bhumika Ghoghari pictured with her daughter Viha Desai, three, on Queen's Road, Wheatley, where Parking permits for residents vehicles have been introduced. Picture: Marie Caley D4536MC
Bhumika Ghoghari pictured with her daughter Viha Desai, three, on Queen's Road, Wheatley, where Parking permits for residents vehicles have been introduced. Picture: Marie Caley D4536MC
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HUNDREDS of Doncaster families face having to pay for the first time to park in their own streets.

Doncaster Council has brought in new rules which mean people living in specially set up residents’ parking scheme areas will be forced to fork out to buy a permit.

The first permit had been free to residents, until new rules come into effect this month.

The schemes were set up in areas close to the town centre, so people who do not live there could not park all day.

Charges have been brought into the first of the areas this month. The Doncaster Central scheme affects 38 streets around the Thorne Road area, including Christchurch Road and Broxholme Lane.

But the charges are set to be extended to more areas over the next few months, as they are renewed.

That would see the St James estate scheme charging from June this year, and the Gordon Street / Stewart Street scheme bringing in charges for all cars from December.

A fourth scheme, the Beechfield / Elmfield scheme, would charge from February next year.

The introduction of the scheme this month has sparked concern from Doncaster Central ward Coun Glyn Jones.

He today called for a review of the issue after next month’s elections, when it could be fully debated.

Before this year’s budget, the first permit was free. It will now be £5.

Last year second car permits were £99, and permits for third to fifth cars were £395.

It will now be £5 for each car, no matter how many vehicles an individual has.

The visitor parking vouchers were free for an annual issue of 52, and then charged £5 per voucher thereafter. That has been changed to £5 for 50 vouchers, to be followed by the £5 charge per voucher thereafter.

The council says it does not yet know how much money the scheme will generate as any finance will only become apparent when each scheme comes up for renewal, and details of the scheme users - including residents, carers, businesses, charities and landlords - are identified.

Peter Dale, director of regeneration and environment at Doncaster Council, said: “The new charges are a contribution towards the cost of administering parking schemes which ensure residents are given priority to park close to where they live.”

They were approved by full council.

Residents in the Central area scheme were unhappy with the charge.

Resident John Giddins said: “There has been no consultation with residents and we have been given just two weeks’ notice to apply for the permit.

“For me personally, £5 is neither here not there. I am fortunately in work. There are many households, however, where a £5 tax on parking near your house, on top of all the other cuts in family income and rising prices, creates real and significant problems.

“I know £5 per year might not seem a lot and people might say if you have a car you might not be that poor.

“But people need to get to work or go out to look for work, and a car isn’t necessarily a luxury these days.”

People who don’t hold a permit are able to park in Queen’s Road for only two hours, and face a £60 fine if they stay over the permitted time.

Resident Bhumika Ghoghari said her husband, Raju Desai, parks on the street.

She said: “If you want facilities in your area the you have to pay for them. As long as it’s a minimum charge it’s okay, but if it gets too expensive we won’t be pleased.

“We don’t have fixed parking on the street so you sometimes have a problem parking, and you aren’t able to get outside your own house - you have to go further down the road.”