A DISGRUNTLED motorist who forks out £20 for an annual permit to park outside her home says she has only managed to get an appropriate space twice in a year.
Saleha Hussain pays Hartlepool Borough Council for the parking permit which allows her to park her Volkswagon Polo in the bays outside of her house on a stretch of the town’s busy Grange Road.
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But the 26-year-old says the bays are regularly hogged by non-residents, forcing the permit holders who live there to park further up the road or even in streets off Grange Road, such as Tankerville Street, Grosvenor Street, or Milton Road.
She says the problem is made worse because one side of Grange Road has double yellow lines, the side on which she lives, meaning homeowners with cars also have to park on the opposite side of the road in the jam-packed bays.
Health service worker Saleha today said “enough is enough” and is considering refusing to pay for the permit unless she is guaranteed a space.
She said her father, Taswar Hussain, 56, a taxi driver, and student brother Adeel Hussain, 24, feel the same.
“It’s absolutely outrageous,” said Saleha. “We have to pay £20 a year for a parking permit yet we never ever find a space outside of our homes. There’s a sign up saying ‘residents’ parking’ but no-one takes a blind bit of notice.
“Also there are not enough spaces for the number of residents because one side has double yellows on it. So there’s certainly not enough room for non-residents.”
She added: “It’s infuriating. Why should we have to pay for a service that we blatantly aren’t getting?
“I wouldn’t be bothered about paying the money if we were guaranteed a space but we aren’t. Equally I wouldn’t be bothered about not getting a parking space if we didn’t have to pay the £20.”
Saleha said the parking bays used to be free before the council started charging residents £1, then £5 and then the current £20.
A council spokesman said the authority is hoping to alleviate the situation by allowing residents use of under-used business bays in Tankerville Street.
He said: “Grange Road is a key traffic route into the town centre and as such it is not possible to allow unregulated parking on both sides of the road.
“Although at times this can minimise parking availability for residents, the permit scheme does allow permit holders to park in adjacent parking-controlled streets as and when parking demand exceeds availability.
“We are also in the process of re-designating some of the under-used business parking bays in Tankerville Street, which should provide some additional residential parking space.
“We are not aware of any significant problem with illegal parking in the Grange Road area, which is regularly patrolled by our officers.
“However, we will continue to monitor activity in the area.”