Council scraps free parking permits

All residents in parking permit zones to pay for first permits - cost to rise to £50 by 2022. Deputy Leader: 'It's very disappointing'

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All residents in Eastleigh and Chandler’s Ford who live in parking permit zones and park on-street will have to pay for a parking permit from April next year.

Currently, residents in Eastleigh and Chandler’s Ford controlled zones 1-9 and 11 – and who have been parking there since before October 2011 – can receive their annual parking permit for free while those who moved into the zone after that date must pay £30 for the first permit.

But at a meeting of Eastleigh Council’s ruling cabinet tonight (May 16), Councillors decided to implement a £30 charge for all residents first permits rising to £50 by April 2022.

Eastleigh Borough Council are introducing the charges as part of deal with Hampshire County Council. HCC effectively delegate on-street parking arrangements to district councils who decide their own parking zones and charges but the County Council has decided to renegotiate existing agreements. If Eastleigh didn’t negotiate a new deal then control of Eastleigh’s parking would revert to the County Council who already charge residents £50 a year for a first permit.

Cabinet members say the deal they have struck with the County enables them to retain control of on-street parking and traffic management and the new fees will help offset the costs of managing and enforcing parking – and reimbursing the county council for their lost revenue.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Paul Bicknell said the agreement would be ‘saving residents money’ by phasing the increase in cost over three years £30 in 2020, £40 in 2021 and £50 (minimum) in 2020.

But the Councillor admitted:

“It’s obviously very disappointing that residents have got to pay extra for their permits and there are number of residents who will actually have to pay for permits that don’t currently.”

In May 2010 Eastleigh Labour Party circulated a leaflet that claimed the Lib Dem Council were considering introducing ‘bombshell’ charges for parking permits.

At the time Cllr Wayne Irish told Eastleigh News:

“The Lib Dems have been crystal clear on existing parking zones,

“There will be NO charges for the first permit. Not now. Not in the future. No chance.”

Despite this in October 2011 charges for permits were introduced for new residents though existing residents continued to enjoy free parking until this latest decision.

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