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Council to make residents' parking easier 9.02.11

Sutton Council is proposing to make parking for residents in the borough easier by simplifying permits and reducing regulations for visitors' passes.

Plans to go before the Executive next week (14 February), if agreed, would see a reduction in the number and type of permits issued to make the process easier and reduce back office costs.

Following requests from residents it is also suggested that the expiry date on visitors' permits be removed to give greater flexibility and remove the limit on the number of permits that can be given.

Residents in controlled parking zones will be able to take advantage of 50 free hours of parking for their visitors every year.

In order to ensure the continued management of the service without placing the running costs onto the taxpayer, overall parking charges are expected to be increased by 10 per cent.

As there have been no increases to the charges in the borough since 2007, this still keeps the rise lower than inflation and VAT over the four year period.

This comes as reports are made of other local authorities across London raising their parking charges. In Barnet, residents will see their resident permits rise from £40 to £150 – a 150 per cent increase; while in Ealing, drivers will see the cost of pay-and-display hourly charges double from 60p to £1.20. In Islington, a rise of up to 50 per cent for resident permits is proposed.

Cllr Simon Wales, Executive Member for Transport, and the Voluntary Sector, said: "We want to make parking easier for our residents and reduce administration costs. After listening to suggestions from local people we hope that changes to visitors' permits will be welcomed.

 "We issue among the fewest amount of parking tickets in London and have among the lowest charges so we really do offer good value for money. We do not make a profit from on-street parking and have not followed other borough's decisions to make the service a cash cow – we merely need to ensure we can break even on running costs and keep the roads safe for drivers and pedestrians."

The council is also intending to introduce a shoppers' tariff and lower parking charges in town centres to support local businesses.

The average cost of parking in Sutton is around 70 pence per hour. This is much lower than other London boroughs such as Westminster where you can pay over £4 per hour and Hammersmith and Fulham which is around £2-3 per hour.

Last updated: Tuesday, 08 March 2011

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