Permits could replace pay and display

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TOWN centre residents could be the next target in a drive to find £1.2m to pay for parking enforcement, it is feared.

After a county council u-turn on plans to introduce pay and display meters in town centre streets, there is now growing concern attention could switch to introducing parking permits for residents living on the fringes of towns who are forced to park on the streets outside their homes because they have no off-road parking.

But South Holland district ward councillor for Spalding town centre, Coun Gary Taylor, says any move to make residents pay would be unfair and would be met with opposition.

He said: “It is a concern and I don’t think it would be the answer, particularly in Spalding where it would probably only be in a couple of streets.

“The county council shouldn’t be working against residents, they should be working with them.

“I am pleased with the outcome of the decision on pay and display and now we need to work with businesses to find a solution.

“There is a serious problem with parking in the town centre, with people parking on pavements, corners and anywhere else they are not supposed to, but we need proper enforcement to educate and deter those responsible.”

Mr Taylor said many people he has spoken to since the parking row erupted felt that pay and display meters in South Holland would have cost more money to install than they would have generated.

In Thursday’s Spalding Guardian we reported how town centre traders were claiming a victory for people power after Lincolnshire County Council decided not to go ahead with meter plans next summer, when it is due to take over responsibility for civil parking enforcement.

The plan was to use cash generated from the meters and fines for those who parked illegally to cover £1.2m shortfall in funding for the scheme.

After the decision was announced, Coun William Webb, executive member for highways and transport, warned that the money would now have to come from elsewhere and the council would be looking for alternatives.