A district council has clarified the parking options available to residents in Stamford town centre who fear being penalised for parking outside their homes.
Last week South Kesteven District Council revealed a waiver ticket could be issued to park in time-restricted streets without fear of receiving a fine. The tickets, which were approved by Linconshire County Council but are physically issued by the district council, cost £155.
It came weeks after the district council offered residents discounted tickets for its car parks while it looks into setting up a residents parking scheme.
Residents had complained they would be fined for parking outside their homes when wardens started patrolling the streets on December 3 following the county council taking on responsibility for parking enforcement.
By Wednesday, 124 people had bought or reserved the car park discount tickets and 23 had opted to buy the on-street waivers.
There have been complaints to the Mercury over the cost of the waivers.
But a district council spokesman said the scheme was not subsidised, which is why it “may look expensive compared to some others in operation elsewhere”.
Leader of South Kesteven District Council Linda Neal (Con) said both the car park and on-street schemes had been introduced to help residents avoid fines if they had continued to leave their cars in areas which are now subject to enforcement.
She said: “Residents within the proposed scheme boundary can opt to use our car park scheme or they have the option of choosing on-street parking by buying a parking waiver issued by Lincolnshire County Council if they would prefer.”
The waivers remain valid until a decision is taken on a permanent residents parking scheme, which is likely to take about six months. The council said if the waivers need to be reissued this will be at no extra cost.
Coun Neal said the cost offered a “considerable saving” on the usual season ticket prices for the car parks.
She said: “The basic charge has been arrived at by using our existing best discount deal and the same formula has then been applied across all our car parks on a pro-rata basis.”
The charges for the waiver were discussed at a meeting between Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council when it was felt the cost of the waiver should be in line with the charges that were already in force on the car parks.
Any money raised from these temporary arrangements will offset the costs of setting up a permanent scheme, which the district council said was likely to be tens of thousands of pounds.
Steve Marsh, of Broad Street, Stamford, said he understood why the council was not subsidising the cost of the scheme but believed £155 was still too high. He said: “It is not going to cost that much to implement and I believe the cost is really taking the mickey. I think it will be interesting to see what the cost of the permanent scheme will be.
“The council has created this situation by not coming up with an interim scheme earlier.”
Following the furore, Richard Cleaver, a resident who has called for a scheme to be set up, has started an online petition calling for Coun Neal to step down.
Rutland County Council employs wardens and issues parking permits for restricted areas for £15.
The Mercury was inundated with comments on our website and Twitter feed following last week’s announcement of the £155 charge for the waiver ticket. We’ve rounded up some of the comments.
On Twitter @jennyfinefoods said: “Great comments made on @Mercury1712 website. Come on SKDC why is my street the most expensive to park on in the country?”
@tanyavaughanltd added: “Wharf Road full. What use is my £230 season ticket? Where do u suggest I park for the rest of the day Linda Neal?”
@CharlotteWeeble said: “£155?? Someone please justify. Annual permits in Westminster and Ken&Chelsea both less than this!! Absurd.”
And Clare Humm, who commented on the Mercury website, said: “£155 to park on the street for 6 months? Does Grantham think that Stamford is Mayfair? For that sort of money I’d expect not only residents’ parking bays, but my own personal one, with a deferential parking attendant to clean the windscreen and open the car door for me.”
Amanda Wheeler said on the Mercury website: “Thank you LCC and SKDC for working together to come up with a solution, albeit an extortionately priced one. It is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately the price is far too high for many residents and ludicrously high when compared to neighbouring towns (Oakham £15). You can even park on the streets of Kensington & Chelsea for £70 a year!”
Cattle Market car park (long stay) season ticket for six months: £25
Wharf Road car park (long stay) Monday to Friday for a quarter: £64
Wharf Road car park (long stay) Monday to Friday for six months: £126
Wharf Road car park (long stay) Monday to Saturday for a quarter: £76.50
Wharf Road car park (long stay) Monday to Saturday for six months: £153
Short stay car parks - North Street, Scotgate, St Leonard’s Street, Bath Row - for six months: £65 (only eligible between 4pm and 10am
The usual price for three months Monday to Friday in the long stay car parks: £99; three months Monday to Saturday: £120; six months Monday to Friday: £190; six months Monday to Saturday: £230.
Waiver ticket for on-street parking in restricted areas: £155
Anyone purchasing a waiver ticket, who has already purchased a discounted car park ticket, pays the difference and keeps both the waiver ticket and the car park pass. Anyone now buying a waiver ticket would also get a long-stay car park pass.
Residents applying for any of the above will need to check their address is valid by visiting www.southkesteven.gov.uk/stamfordseasonticket. Anyone applying will need to produce a vehicle registration document displaying the register’s keepers address and a utility bill for the same residence.
They can only be bought by visiting the district council offices in Maiden Lane, Stamford.
As of Wednesday, 69 discounted season tickets were bought for the Cattle Market car park, 17 had been bought for Wharf Road and 38 had been bought for the short stay car parks. There will be a maximum of 150 season tickets in the Cattle Market, 100 in Wharf Road and 100 in short stay car parks.