Cost of parking in your street soars by 25 per cent

Mark Blunden and Miranda Bryant
14 Sep 2011
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23986752-cost-of-parking-in-your-street-soars-by-25-per-cent.do

Motorists today accused council chiefs of “waging war” on them after parking charges were increased by more than a quarter.

Southwark residents will see their permits rise from £99 a year to £125 despite town hall chiefs saying in December there were no plans to increase fees.

Opposition politicians in the borough today urged the Labour-run authority to ditch the move and dip into its reserves instead, as residents made their annoyance clear.

Deborah Widdop, 55, a retired health administrator from Borough, said: “It’s impossible to be a car owner in Southwark, with the congestion charge and now these inflated parking charges.

“I have arthritis and the only way I can get my granddaughter around is in a car. They’ve also increased the price of council-run garages. It feels like they are waging war on drivers.”

Mother-of-three Catherine Holmes, 44, from Dulwich, called the increases a “stealth tax”, adding: “Even if you’ve got a small car you will still be penalised for parking outside your own home, and 25 per cent is huge. They need to make sure the £2.5million is well-spent on improving the potholed roads.”

Earlier this year, Southwark agreed nearly £34million cuts and was the hardest-hit borough in cash terms. In May, it abandoned plans to charge owners of low-emission vehicles less and levy higher charges on gas guzzlers.

The borough’s move follows one of the stiffest increases in London, by Tory-run Barnet, where the cost of a parking permit has risen from £42 to £100.

A Southwark council spokesman said: “The parking fees in the borough will still represent good value for money and even with this rise will be below the inner-London average.

“The decision would also freeze the fees at this fixed rate until at least April 2013.”

The new permit charges will come into force from October 21.

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