PENSIONERS in the district face a big hike in the cost of an annual parking permit.
Stratford District Council is set to increase the price of a permit from £10 to £50 for drivers aged over 65, which allows them to park in council-run car parks.
The council was considering scrapping the permit scheme altogether hoping it would discourage private car usage – keeping in line with its commitment to tackle climate change – as pensioners would still have the option of a free bus pass to help them get around.
But there was an outcry when the proposal was first muted in the autumn which prompted a u-turn by the council, which instead
reviewed the cost of the permits of which currently around 2,500 permits are issued annually.
A report to the council’s ruling cabinet next week states: “A review of permits established that business and resident off-street parking permits were considered to be competitively and appropriately priced, with the exception of the over 65s parking permit.
“Over 65s currently have the option of receiving a free bus pass allowing them to travel without the need to use a private car. The majority of over 65s who cannot use buses for medical reasons may be eligible for free disabled parking under the Blue Badge scheme.
“The climate change initiative suggests that the Council should not be encouraging the use of private cars. For this reason it is proposed that the £10 over 65s concessionary parking permit is increased to £50.”
* Increases to car park tariffs across the seven council-owned car parks have been approved.
Under one hour’s paking will increase from £1 to £1.20 (Bridgeway car park will still provide one hour’s free parking), an increase from £2 to £2.40 for 1-2 hours, £3 to £3.50 for over 2-3 hours, £4. to £5 for over 3-4 hours, and £6 to £8 for over 4-9 hours.