Parking permit rise in St Albans a “waste of time” says councillor

St Albans City & District Council

St Albans City & District Council - Credit: Archant

Parking permits will cost St Albans’ inner-city residents an extra two per cent from April this year.

But a councillor has pointed out that the pennies gained will be swallowed by postage and administration costs.

St Albans district council has recently written to locals notifying them of the increase, which will bump up parking prices by 76p a year for most permit-holders, while those in two-hour zones face a 38p increase.

Cllr Simon Grover said: “I’m fairly sure that the cost of the paper, printing, envelopes, postage and officer time would be more than 76p per letter, and certainly more than 38p.

“In which case this price rise seems like a complete waste of time.”

Cllr Grover said although he was on the car parking working party, the first time he had heard of the increase was a few days ago.

He has asked for a breakdown of costs and an explanation of the decision.

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Portfolio holder for community engagement Cllr Beric Read said permit charges had remained static for several years and that if Cllr Grover was concerned about the rise, “he should have raised it at council”.

The council is bringing in a raft of changes to car parking charges, with spaces close to the city centre, including Drovers Way and Russell Avenue, increasing from £9 for over five hours to £10 for those staying over six hours.

There will no longer be free parking on Sundays, with a £1 charge also coming into effect from April 1.

But parking at Bricket Road north, Keyfield Terrace, Gombards and Townsend Avenue will become cheaper, with fees going down from £9 to £5 for over five hours.

Cllr Read said the changes were aimed at freeing spaces closer to the city centre for shoppers, and to bring down fees for those people working in St Albans and leaving vehicles at car parks a short walk away.