PERMITS: A huge extra car tax

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The five-fold increase in business parking permits by the council is bad news for all the traders that are going to be forced to pay the new eye-watering fee of £250 (News Guardian, February 15).

It is also very bad news that the council is going to extort a fee of £25 from residents who use the permit scheme for the privilege of parking their cars near their own homes.

Residents’ parking permits came about because people wanted a reasonable chance of being able to park their cars in increasingly congested streets. This fee of £25 is nothing more than an additional car tax on exasperated residents.

It also kills stone-dead any future applications for parking permits as who wants to pay £25 to park in their own street?

Our Labour-run council should think again and resist coming up with this and any more penny-pinching schemes that fleece the hard-pressed council-tax-paying residents of North Tyneside.

I do not see any councillor taking a cut in their allowances of £10,000 a year to save money. Perhaps I am wrong and the allowance cut is on its way, with our noble representatives leading by example in these difficult times.

The council’s excuse that charging residents £25 is ‘to cover costs’ is dubious. Can I suggest a cheap alternative?

Make the permits available on demand at the council customer service centres. All it would take would be a quick confirmation of details and a print-out with a valid code for the council parking enforcement officers. The cost of this might be a few pence at most.

Just a thought.

Steve Ratcliffe

Cullercoats