The cost of resident parking in Hartlepool is set to change

Residents Parking Thornton Street. Picture by FRANK REID

Residents Parking Thornton Street. Picture by FRANK REID

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The cost of parking permits are to be overhauled after the current system was deemed too unfair.

The shake-up agreed by councillors will see prices for permits brought into line across the whole town.

Currently, people living close to the town centre pay a discounted rate of £5 a year to Hartlepool Borough Council to be able to park in their street.

Anyone outside that boundary has to pay the higher fee of £20 a year.

A report by Alastair Smith, the council’s assistant director of neighbourhoods, said currently neighbouring streets in the same designated parking zone can have different permit charges.

He said: “The current arrangement is perceived by many residents as being both confusing and unfair and although residents accept traffic management controls are required and beneficial, many are unwilling to accept the present arrangements.”

In future, everyone will be charged £5 for a household’s first permit with a sliding scale for further permits of £10 for a second, £20 for third and £30 for a fourth.

Hartlepool currently has eight resident-only parking zones across town with over 2,000 holders.

The council’s neighbourhood services committee heard a number of streets in the more expensive areas pulled out of the scheme after consultation in 2007 due to the perceived unfairness.

The council said it offered the £5 discounted rate because many areas of the town centre suffered from non residents trying to avoid paying for parking in public car parks.

Committee chairman Councillor Marjorie James said of the new charges: “I think it does bring fairness.”

Coun Jim Ainslie added: “It makes total sense to me and I have no hesitation in moving that the recommendations are accepted.”

The residents’ only zones operate between 8am-6pm, Monday to Saturday.

Other changes agreed by the committee were to extend the time period from 8am to 8pm and the cost of a replacement permit will be £20.