Backlash as the price of a permit to park doubles

Sheffield City Council increase residents parking charges'Sharrow Vale Controlled parking area
Sheffield City Council increase residents parking charges'Sharrow Vale Controlled parking area
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BUSINESS owners have branded parking permit rises in Sheffield a ‘punishment’ after increased charges were unveiled as part of the council’s budget plans.

Many permit fees are set to double for household and business vehicles in parking restricted zones across the city.

Fees are to go up from £10 to £20 annually for the first car per household, and from £20 to £40 for businesses’ first vehicle permits.

In Sharrow Vale, where a permit system operates, some shop owners told The Star they are angry at the move.

Jane Grant, aged 47, whose mum Betty Nash owns The Front Parlour vintage shop on Sharrow Vale Road, said: “They are punishing people for living here, for shopping here and working here with the parking.”

Betty, of Banner Cross, added: “It looks like we’ll be paying double on top of all our other expenses which are also going up at the moment.”

For second vehicles, household permits are expected to increase in cost to £60, up from £30, and business permits will be £90 instead of £60.

Lynda Barber, part owner of food shop Perfectionary also on Sharrow Vale Road, fought the parking permit system when it first came into Sharrowvale and campaigned for shoppers to get 15 minutes’ parking free.

She said: “I think it should be the same cost for residents and businesses to park - why is it more for businesses when you are taking up the same space?

“There are lots of exceptions within the system too so you still can’t park outside your shop.”

Amanda Jayne Hair Stylists’ owner Julie Haddington said there were problems with the parking system in the local area – including workers having to park on side streets and some student households having many multiple residents’ passes.

But she said the permits cost around £70 when they were first introduced in 2007 and it was better that they had been reduced.

She added: “It seems to be the second permit that is the more expensive.

“It must be to try to deter people from getting one. “

Newsagent Ashfaq Ahmed, owner of Lawton’s News, said national funding cuts were behind the increases.

He said: “Unless you raise the money it’s very difficult to cover the costs because the Government has enforced these cuts.

“The council have no choice and they do have to protect frontline services from the cuts that are being made across the country.”

Tracey Nortcliffe, owner of G&E’s Sandwich Bar, said she sometimes has to pay by the hour on top of her permit as there were no allocated spaces available on side streets off Sharrow Vale Road.

In Broomhill, residents pay for permits to park on some of the area’s busy streets.

Under the fee increases, the £5 cost to replace or change permits will rise to £15.

And the cost of household visitor pass booklets will quadruple from £2.50 to £10.

Norma Hampsey, 74, said it was still a struggle to find a space on Lawson Road where she lives.

She added: “For the people that live here I don’t think it is a good thing.

“It is a little bit much to ask people to pay £20 a year when they are not really getting anything for it.”

Visitor Ian Burkinshaw, 44, of Crosspool, said: “The increase is not in line with inflation so it represents a big one.

“I visit here a lot and there are always spaces so I wouldn’t say it was a necessity, more a way of raising income for the council.”

Permit parking schemes operate across Sheffield at places where it is difficult to park, many close to the city centre.

They include Sharrow Vale, Stalker Lees off Ecclesall Road, Porterbrook, Meadow Street and Highfield. Last year four more schemes began.

Another scheme is currently planned for Upperthorpe and local opinion is being sought.