Determined residents have today vowed to fight parking permit price hikes they have branded an unfair ‘tax’ on thousands of people - by taking Sheffield Council to court.
New action group Sheffielders for Parking Fairness claims the authority is generating revenue from residents permits, which have tripled in price in two years – despite this being banned by law.
Campaigners are now urging those affected to help them fund legal fees to seek a judicial review and have the fees slashed to £10 a year.
They hope to repeat a victory where the High Court ruled a London council could not raise the cost of permits to fund road maintenance work.
SfPF chairman Michael Marsh said: “Permit prices have risen 260 per cent for the first car since 2012 and 400 per cent for visitors’ permits – the council is ripping off local residents.”
The council says it still subsidises permits and does not make a profit.
The cost of a first household parking permit in Sheffield was £10 before the council doubled it in 2012 as part of meeting major budget cuts. It was then increased to £36 last year.
Business permit costs have also risen from £20 to £72, and books of visitor permits from £2.50 to £12.50.
Town hall chiefs say the council previously subsidised permits, but it can no longer afford to do that – and it does not make any profit from the scheme.
The council has previously said it does not generate enough from parking permit revenue and enforcement to cover the scheme’s operational costs.
The parking service only has a surplus when cash income from pay and display is factored in, according to a report in the summer.
However, SfPF claims the council makes a surplus of £1.1 million a year from all its controlled parking zones, when fines, pay and display fees and permit costs are considered.
Mr Marsh said: “This is basically now a parking tax. We are not getting any more service for paying £36 than we did for £10.
“There is no other excuse for this other than to raise revenue.”
The group estimates 3,500 households in Sheffield are forced to have permits to park near their homes, which would total £126,000 alone under current prices, without taking business or additional permits into account.
Areas covered by parking permits include Broomhill, Hillsborough, Sharrow Vale, Highfield and Crookesmoor.
Sheffielders for Parking Fairness is holding its next meeting tonight, at the Duchess Road Community Centre, Shoreham Street, Sheffield,at 6.30pm.
To donate to the cause transfer money to Unity Trust Bank, sort code 08-60-01, account number 20249100, email Sfpf2014@gmail.com or call 07814507749.
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