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QUESTIONS RAISED: Enforcement “lacking” at Teesside parking zone

QUESTIONS RAISED: Enforcement “lacking” at Teesside parking zone

Parking Permit, Middlesbrough, Image: Ian Cooper/Teesside Live

Questions have been raised over how permit parking zones are enforced to solve space conundrums on Teesside. 

Stockton councillors are to spend the next six months analysing how effective the zones are in helping residents find a spot.

But Eaglescliffe councillor Stefan Houghton shared early doubts about how the council ensured the rules were followed at a meeting on Monday.

“I’m interested in to what extent this review will be looking at enforcement of existing zones,” he said.

“It seems to be lacking at present – there’s no point having these zones if they’re not going to be enforced.”

Stockton Council officials say they regularly get asked for zones near shopping centres, hospitals, and schools in the borough.

A report for the meeting added many residents saw the zones as a “panacea with no downsides”.

But it went on to warn they could bring costs to residents and visitors, as well as issues with moving problems, rather than solving them.

Former mayor Cllr Mohammed Javed said the permit zones were no guarantee of retaining a space in front of a home in his ward.

The member for Parkfield and Oxbridge added: “There are a lot of requests in our area to have parking permit schemes but the vast majority of people where I live have two cars and some have three.”

Cllr Javed told the panel some residents had campaigned for permit zones in parts of the town, only to then ask for the scheme to be reversed.

“It’s a very delicate situation,” he added.

Four zones are overseen by the council in the borough on Hardwick, Trinity Garden, near Station Road, in Eaglescliffe, and in Stockton town centre,

Residents and visitor permits cost £10 per year while business permits cost £50 per year.

The review will aim to update the council’s policy – which was last updated in 2004 – and analyse how well the zones work.

Costs for schemes, public expectations, and enforcement will also be examined – as well as other permit schemes elsewhere in the country.

Cllr Bill Woodhead, member for Fairfield, believed some people wanted parking spaces when they didn’t warrant them.

He added: “I have a problem in my ward where people buy these houses and they’ve no drive or facilities at all – and they think we’ve got to provide it (for them).

“When they buy a house they should look at that.

“People now have two or three cars – and when these types of houses were built, they were built for people who had no cars.”

The review will continue in December.

 

Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter


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