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11 November, 2004

Parking my thoughts

Even as someone who doesn't own a car, I'm aware that neighbours in my street complain about an inability to find parking spaces outside their own homes, so my first impression was favourable when I opened a letter from the Council this morning, which proposes a residents' parking scheme.  The city centre is a ten-minute walk from my house, so I presume commuters like to use my street for free rather than pay for car parks.  That's not so good for residents.

However, on reading the rest of the letter, I immediately changed my mind. The Council plan is to sell parking permits to residents for £25 pa for their (our) own vehicles and £2 for two passes allowing residents' visitors to park, each pass allowing ten uses before having to be replaced.
I strongly feel this should be free to residents and their visitors, not a source of revenue for the Council. Rather, I feel one of the very purposes of the Council should be to bear all expenses - tax payers already fund the Council.

Bugger. As I write, I'm changing my mind again, and see an alternative argument. If the scheme is to be implemented here in the Moorlands district of Lancaster, why should the tax payers of another district have to subsidise Moorlands car owners, especially if the commuters start parking on their streets instead? It does make sense for only the beneficiaries to cover the setup and running costs, perhaps offset against revenue from parking fines. Similarly, I'd have to question why non- car owners in the affected area (e.g. me) should subsidise their (our) car-owning neighbours.

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