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Parking scheme £26k loss

PUBLISHED: 14:43 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:41 03 July 2010

THE controversial residents parking scheme in Great Yarmouth is running at a loss, despite promises it would be self-financing.

In 2007/08 there was a shortfall of £26,944 and for the 2008/09 period that figure is predicted to rise to £50,000, as the number of fines being issued decreases with motorists more aware of parking restrictions.

THE controversial residents parking scheme in Great Yarmouth is running at a loss, despite promises it would be self-financing.

In 2007/08 there was a shortfall of £26,944 and for the 2008/09 period that figure is predicted to rise to £50,000, as the number of fines being issued decreases with motorists more aware of parking restrictions.

A report by Tim Howard, head of regeneration at the borough council, outlines that revenue generated from fines and permits is not enough to cover the running costs, which are estimated to be around £150,000 for 2008/09.

While the sales of £25 permits has increased over the last three years - from 1,022 in 2006/07 with 2,043 sold so far in 2008/09 - Mr Howard said the funding gap being subsidised by Norfolk County Council would only get bigger.

The revelation sparked a debate over residents parking at the council's car parking steering group meeting recently.

Graham Plant, group chairman, said: “Is it not unreasonable to think that the cost to residents for having residents parking goes up accordingly?”

Mr Plant said increasing the permit cost to £60 a year would still work out to just over £1 a week, although believed the price hike would be too much amid concerns residents would refuse to buy permits.

Labour leader Mick Castle said: “This is not good accountancy. It is foolish to leave the charge at £25 for three years. What we need to do is take a measured view and increase prices yearly, people expect that.”

Suggesting the council ensure the scheme is cost neutral within three years, Conservative councillor Charles Reynolds accused the Labour party of not being “honest from the start” over details of the scheme.

He said: “This would never have gone ahead and would not have been the disaster that it has been to businesses on the seafront if you were honest about particulars of the scheme from the start.”

Replying to the comments Mr Castle said it was evident residents wanted the scheme by the number of permits sold, adding it was improving “improving quality of life in a town which suffers major parking problems”.

Mr Howard will explore options for permit price increases which will be presented to the group at its next meeting in five weeks time.


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