Sheffield Council still pays half the £1 million annual cost of running residents’ parking permit zones, a cabinet chief has revealed.
Coun Leigh Bramall spoke out after action group Sheffielders for Parking Fairness, led by chairman Michael Marsh, announced they are raising cash to take legal action against the council, after permit costs rose from £10 to £36 in just three years.
Coun Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development, stressed the original cost of permits was £35 when they were introduced in 2004.
After a campaign they were lowered to £10, but Coun Bramall said Government cuts meant they had returned to earlier prices.
He said: “We have put the permit costs back to where they were, for years, and we will keep them at that level – in future years we may increase them, but only to take account of inflation.
“We haven’t hiked them to an unprecedented level.
“There is £500,000 a year coming from permits people pay for, and it costs us about £1m to run it, so we have not raised costs to make a profit.”
Coun Bramall said money from other parking revenues was used to subsidise the service, but a larger contribution from residents had been needed or it would have affected other services.
He said books of visitor parking permits had ‘cost the council money’ when they were £2, rather than the current £12.50.
He said it was ‘misleading’ to compare first permit prices in Sheffield with those in other cities – only York and Chester charge residents more in the north – as different cities funded their permits in different ways.
Coun Bramall said other cities funded zones by charging businesses or visitors more for their permits, while several charged residents more, including Brighton and Hove, and Bristol.