Residents in Oakham protest against parking changes

Residents campaigning against parking restrictions along South Street and Penn Street in Oakham.  Residents in South Street. From left, Brian Bohling, Vivien Bohling, Colin Bath, Ann Lewis, Michael Savage, Barbara Bath, Jane Halliday, Paul Wells and Michael Clarkson.'Photo: MSMP010513-002ow
Residents campaigning against parking restrictions along South Street and Penn Street in Oakham. Residents in South Street. From left, Brian Bohling, Vivien Bohling, Colin Bath, Ann Lewis, Michael Savage, Barbara Bath, Jane Halliday, Paul Wells and Michael Clarkson.'Photo: MSMP010513-002ow

Angry residents in Oakham are protesting against changes to parking restrictions which are set to be enforced on their roads.

Dozens of people living in South Street and Penn Street believe they will be paying more for less as part of changes which have been recommended for approval at a Rutland County Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The council is planning to introduce limited waiting times to permit holder bays between 10am and 3pm in the town in a bid to attract shoppers. The council also plans to increase the cost of parking permits from £15 a year to £40, with an additional payment of £100 for homes with a second car.

But residents living in the area have joined together to outline their argument as to why the changes should not go ahead.

Jane Halliday, 55, who lives in South Street, says finding a space is already stressful. She believes that inviting people to park for free for a limited time in bays will only worsen the situation.

She has handed out more than 100 leaflets to residents in the area urging them to write to the council to voice their concerns.

Ms Halliday said: “I often get home from work and there is nowhere to park.

“It can be really stressful and those who don’t live down here don’t know how much it affects us.

“Many of the houses in South Street are old and do not have driveways and there are insufficient spaces for the number of vehicles for the residents to park. The situation needs to be addressed, not exacerbated.

“If anyone can park between 10am and 3pm it negates the parking scheme and penalises those who pay for permits. It seems like tourists coming into the town are more important than residents.

“And they want to increase the cost of the permits but we will not be benefiting.”

Paul Wells, 53, who lives in Penn Street, campaigned against similar plans for parking in 2009. The council then listened to the views of residents and Mr Wells hopes the council drop the plans again.

Mr Wells also believes more should be done to attract shoppers to make use of the town’s fivwe car parks.

He said: “If we’re paying for the permits, we should be given priority. We’re going to be paying more money but have less chance of finding a parking space.

“There will be elderly people who go out to do their shopping and then can’t get a parking space when they return. They’ll have to park far away and walk back to their house with their shopping bags. And mothers with children could face the same problem.

“They decided not to change the plans in 2009 so why is it right to change them now?

“Visitors to the town should be encouraged to use the bays in car parks where they’ll be paying for them.”

The council is planning to replace existing double yellow lines with single lines in South Street, to allow permit holders to park there after 6pm, as well as painting bays to maximise parking places on the road, which on the whole, residents believe will be a good move.

Ms Halliday believes an additional permit could be issued for visitors and traders working at properties along the road for temporary parking.

Cabinet has been recommended not to proeed with plans for on-street parking restrictions in Stamford Road at the meeting.

The meeting on Tuesday starts at 9.30am in the council chamber at Catmose, Oakham.

To see the recommendations in full, visit www.rutland.gov.uk/council_meetings