Concern over new car permit charge

MOTORISts are being driven up the wall about being hit in the pocket by North Tyneside Council for owning more than one car.

Householders in some parts of the borough have been receiving letters from the council demanding payment for additional parking permits if they own more than one car.

The letters say that those who own two cars or more now have to pay £20 for additional permits for each extra vehicle or if they want to keep a visitor permit spare.

The policy has sparked anger among some residents, and some, including several living in King’s Drive in Whitley Bay, were intending to write to the council to voice their objections.

Neil Jones said: “What is contentious at the moment is that the council were sending out these letters demanding the cash by the end of December, yet the resident vehicle permits expire on March 31.

“Are we going to have different dates to renew these permits? What will happen in March?

“It’s also prejudicial against families and couples who have more than one car. It’s all about profits and not helping residents. This is just a second road tax.”

A council spokesperson said: “Residential parking permit schemes are there to help manage the limited parking space in our streets as fairly as possible.

“All eligible residents will continue to receive two parking permits – one resident permit and one visitor permit – completely free of charge.

“It is only when a household requests a permit for more than two cars that a charge applies.

“This policy has been in place since March, when it was agreed by the full council.

“This new policy is still more generous than the policies of many neighbouring authorities, and we believe it is the fairest option for all council tax payers.”

“The council currently issues around 14,000 residential parking permits each year, and has over 100 outstanding requests for the introduction of permit schemes throughout the borough.

“The administration of an entirely free scheme incurred significant costs to the council, which in the current financial climate, the council could not continue to sustain.

“However, if the majority of residents within a street are not happy with this change of policy, and would prefer that the permit scheme is removed, then it can be.”