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New bid to alleviate parking problems

PUBLISHED: 15:10 11 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:01 30 June 2010

A DUAL residents' permit/ pay-and-display parking system moved a step closer to becoming reality in Great Yarmouth this week.

Most councillors at a meeting of the borough scrutiny committee supported a motion to introduce pay-and-display parking between 10am and 4pm in under-used town centre residents' parking bays.

A DUAL residents' permit/ pay-and-display parking system moved a step closer to becoming reality in Great Yarmouth this week.

Most councillors at a meeting of the borough scrutiny committee supported a motion to introduce pay-and-display parking between 10am and 4pm in under-used town centre residents' parking bays.

The recommendation from Monday's debate must still be backed by a steering group looking at parking, and councillors asked if this could meet as soon as possible to take things forward forward.

In 2007/8, residents' parking zones made an operating loss of £35,179, and this rose to £62,359 in 2008/9.

The proposal for a dual system was one of various options to increase the amount of revenue generated by the Zone A residents' parking scheme outlined in a report by Norfolk County Council officers.

If it is agreed, pay-and-display meters would be introduced in streets within the zone that have a high number of empty spaces during the day. The pay-and-display scheme would operate between 10am and 4pm alongside the existing resi-dents' parking between 8am and 6pm. However, residents with permits would not have to pay any extra to park during the pay-and- display hours.

Other options were:

To increase the cost of residents' permits over a three-year period from the present £25 a year to £40 in 2013, or

To introduce more visitor passes in residents' bays.

But a report suggested this might still not produce enough revenue to cover the cost of administering the residents' parking scheme.

Labour councillors Mick Castle, Michael Jeal and Valerie Pettit, representing wards covered by the Zone A scheme, called for residents to be properly consulted before any parking changes were introduced.

Mr Jeal said: “We can ignore them at our peril, but the residents must be consulted. These people live here 52 weeks of the year and my only consideration is that we ask them. If we don't ask them, we are going to kick up one hell of a storm.”

But Tory councillors Barry Coleman and Charles Reynolds said consultation was compulsory anyway as part of the statutory process to resolve the parking problem.

Mr Reynolds wanted a compromise to be found that accommodated residents' demands and the needs of businesses that wanted empty town centre spaces to be used.

The changes to the scheme, which has been running since 2006, were discussed at a previous car park strategy group meeting that recommended increasing the cost of permits and looking into intro-ducing the visitor pass scheme.

But the decision was called in by the scrutiny committee after Labour councillors complained it had been made without proper consultation.

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