Cost of parking in your street soars by 25 per cent

Mark Blunden and Miranda Bryant
14 Sep 2011

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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