Burnley residents are fuming after a decision to introduce a blanket £25 charge for annual car parking permits will see some paying 225% more.
Residents living in any of the town’s seven controlled parking zones now have to pay for each permit, resident or visitor.
Previously a single parking permit at £15.60 included a free visitor pass, but that all changed at the beginning of the month and now a resident permit and one visitor permit will cost £50.
The old system allowed for three resident permits and one visitor permit but the changes now mean two permits per household and up to two for visitors.
Residents who previously had two or three resident permits paid either £41.60 or £67.60 but will now pay either £75 or £100 if they wish to have the visitor permit too.
Any resident who does not own a car will have to pay for a permit for the occasions when relatives, carers or visitors need to park, but blue badge holders will be entitled to one free permit (either a resident or a visitor permit) but blue badge holders who are not residents are still not entitled to park within the scheme.
Clifford Canty, a Mansergh Street resident in zone seven, described the increase as “massive” and that had left him and his neighbours “incensed”.
Ian Spedding, of Ebor Street in zone two, said: “We’re fuming. It’s cheesed a lot of people off. We think the way they have gone about it is a bit underhand. There was no consultation but they have done it because they can.
“I can afford it but if you are on the breadline, people are not going to be able to.”
Sheila Gaut, of Peart Street, also in zone two, added: “We are all very despondent about it. I don’t mind it going up but this a huge increase.”
Responding, Paul Riley, Lancashire County Council’s parking services manager, said: “The county council administers residents’ parking schemes in seven districts, however we have historically maintained the charges being applied when the schemes were previously run by district councils, which means the charges varied between districts.
“A decision has been taken to apply a clear and consistent approach to all the schemes, and introduce an annual charge of £25 for a permit.
“This more accurately reflects the cost to the county council of providing the service, which includes administration, such as issuing permits, parking enforcement officers visiting the sites, and ensuring the signs and lines are maintained.
“At the same time we have taken the opportunity to improve the service and have responded to feedback from residents in Burnley by offering them the opportunity to have two visitor permits rather than limiting them to one.”