People are being asked for their say on proposals to review residents parking schemes run in the county by Northamptonshire County Council.
These are discretionary schemes which the council has implemented at the request of residents and after years at running at a loss, the authority is now looking to make changes so they can be run on a ‘cost-neutral basis.’
Changes include limiting the number of residents permits issued for each property and a new scratch card system to be used for visitor parking, similar to many other parts of the country.
There is also a proposed increase in the cost of the scheme, up to £60 for the first residents permit and £80 for the second for each property, with the cost of an annual business permit up to £360.
For residents parking schemes to be implemented in an area, at least 50 per cent of households need to be in favour – therefore there is the possibility that some areas currently with a scheme would prefer not to have one and it could be withdrawn.
Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “We’re quite happy to run these schemes for residents who, for a variety of reasons, experience difficulties parking in the areas in which they live.
“However there is a cost in running this service and for many years it has been subsidised by diverting funds from others areas of the highways budget, such as road maintenance.
“Quite simply the sums don’t add up and in these financially difficult times, changes need to be made if we are to continue running the schemes.
“We’ve come up with some ideas on how we can run the schemes on a cost-neutral basis and we’re asking people to help us refine these proposals.
“Meanwhile we will be working to reduce the cost of administering the parking permit scheme as much as we can with our aim to mitigate any permit price increase as much as possible.”
The shortfall in running costs currently stands at just under £121,000 each year for the 11 schemes operating throughout the county and any changes would need to be implemented equally in all of the areas.
People can have their say on the proposals at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/residentsparking until the consultation closes on Friday, December 12.
Public notices advertising final proposals will then be advertised early next year before a report is heard before the council’s cabinet.
It is hoped that the changes would be introduced in April 2015.