Bad planning over parking permits

I AM writing to express my anger at how badly I feel the new parking permit schemes have been implemented by Sheffield City Council.

Monday, 15th October 2007, 12:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th October 2007, 1:18 pm

I live near Ecclesall Road, which comes under the Sharrow Vale scheme. I live in a house of five people and two of us have cars. We all work and for the two of us with vehicles driving is an integral part of our jobs. I am a journalist with nearly an hour's commute to work each day and the same back, plus I use my car throughout the day. Yet we are only granted one permit per house (which, incidentally, took months to arrive - a delay that certainly cannot just be blamed on the postal strikes) and have been told there is no guarantee of a second. Thank goodness my other housemates work within a walkable distance.

I applied for a second permit in July but will first have to be sent a form explaining why I need one - a form that has still not arrived. Upon sending off this form I will not hear whether my application has been successful until November, yet parking fines will be issued from this month.

The council claims the scheme 'will improve residents’ ability to park near to their properties' - yet currently I am unable to park anywhere near my own road, let alone on it. When I called to find out what I am supposed to do until I hear whether I am eligible for a second permit, I was told I would 'just have to find somewhere else to park' if I don't want to be fined. This is easier said than done. I know the area well and I cannot readily think of anywhere without restrictions. It's very easy for council bosses to say 'you'll just have to find somewhere else to park' when they are not in this situation, with their personal parking spaces and other perks of the job. I'd like to see them trudging the streets in the dark and rain each morning and evening after having to abandon their car a mile out of their way because they cannot park outside their own house. In addition, this is a safety issue - I am a young, physically small female and the thought of having to park up dark backstreets and walk alone to my house in the winter is very concerning. Even if I do find any unrestricted places, there is never a guarantee that they will be free. Then what? Make my car magically vanish?

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It is not even as if the council is doing us a favour by granting people permits. According to its website, an initial permit costs 36 and second and additional permits cost 72.

Name withheld