Traders' woe over 'cumbersome' parking permit system

The Advertiser Series: PARKING PERIL: Traders in Darlington are falling foul of time-consuming parking permit regulations PARKING PERIL: Traders in Darlington are falling foul of time-consuming parking permit regulations

COUNCILLORS have called for a new system of parking permits for tradespeople to be introduced quickly after hearing that the existing set-up is causing difficulties for small business owners.

Members of Darlington Borough Council’s place scrutiny committee heard the system, which requires tradespeople to ring the town hall to register for a £5 permit every time they stop in a restricted zone, is cumbersome and time-consuming.

Highways officers have pledged to bring in a new system, possibly a fixed-term permit attached to a vehicle registration number, by the summer.

Steve Graham, a plumber who attended the meeting as a representative of other tradespeople in Darlington, urged the council to update the system as soon as possible, or risk forcing people out of business.

Mr Graham said he receives two or three parking tickets a week from traffic wardens because he has not been able to get through to the town hall for a permit or has not had time to call while dealing with an emergency.

He said: “It never used to be an issue - I used to ring up and be done in 30 seconds. But now, there are no staff to answer the phone and when they do, they have to go and get permission from someone else to give the permit.

“Answer me this, if you had water pouring through your ceiling or a suspected gas leak, would you want a plumber to come in and put it right or do you want them stood outside trying to get a parking permit?”

Highways officer Steve Petch said: “We recognise that tradespeople are having to phone up every day to get permits. We need to ensure that the system is not abused but we do need to make it more streamlined.

“It costs the council money for each permit we hand out, when tradesmen could just have a permit that lasts six or 12 months. We’re looking at having something up and running by the summer.”

Members agreed a registration system was a sensible solution.

Coun Bob Carson said: “We should be supporting a fairly rapid resolution of this.”

Comments (3)

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12:49pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Darloresident says...

Yes - that about sums up our efficient caring council
Why would you tell tradesmen to phone for their permit and then either have no one manning the phones or worse some one without the authority to agree to the permit issue? Rubbish uncaring beaurocrats...
Yes - that about sums up our efficient caring council Why would you tell tradesmen to phone for their permit and then either have no one manning the phones or worse some one without the authority to agree to the permit issue? Rubbish uncaring beaurocrats... Darloresident
  • Score: 7

2:32pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Homshaw1 says...

How do council workers get away with parking in loading areas and yellow lines while they visit hot food outlets? It's one rule for them and another for other people..
How do council workers get away with parking in loading areas and yellow lines while they visit hot food outlets? It's one rule for them and another for other people.. Homshaw1
  • Score: 9

2:36pm Thu 13 Feb 14

jane1.r says...

We clean windows and were told we need permits after years of just putting a card in the window .This is my day .Watch weather, 50 % chance of rain , take a chance and go to work ,get a permit for 3 streets I intend to clean , 15 pounds out of pocket before I go to work . It starts to rain . Normally I would go home at this point but faced with another 15 pound bill if I have to come back the next day I sit it out ,if it stops raining I then work far,far too fast to be safe up a ladder as I cannot afford to pay D B C just so I can work..I also need another permit to park in a back lane to clean back windows which involves being psychic as I don't know when people will ask for this service. It would cost me around 600 pounds a year if I did things this way. I was told by the council to pass these costs on to the customer .I am not allowed to go collecting for my money and park as this is not classed as work even if I pay my 5 pounds to collect £3.50 .So I am allowed to work but not get paid . These residents parking bays are punishing tax payers as they can not receive services ,the tradesmen should not be treated like this its killing business and making them very angry . When this is sorted I hope that they all demand their money back after all if the system is deemed wrong then how can anyone argue. I would call attention to the councils own website on this subject of residents parking,you really couldn't make it up ,even if you break down in a parking bay you will get fined unless you can prove your case with an AA or rac invoice ,if you park in a bay and then hit an old lady and are arrested,you wont get a ticket as you had no intent to leave your car . The council has so much power to make its own rules it is frightening . separate point ,did you know if you refuse to pay your council tax and you go to jail you still have to pay your council tax but if you get caught robbing an old woman and you go to jail there is no tax to pay. who"s rules D.B.C .
We clean windows and were told we need permits after years of just putting a card in the window .This is my day .Watch weather, 50 % chance of rain , take a chance and go to work ,get a permit for 3 streets I intend to clean , 15 pounds out of pocket before I go to work . It starts to rain . Normally I would go home at this point but faced with another 15 pound bill if I have to come back the next day I sit it out ,if it stops raining I then work far,far too fast to be safe up a ladder as I cannot afford to pay D B C just so I can work..I also need another permit to park in a back lane to clean back windows which involves being psychic as I don't know when people will ask for this service. It would cost me around 600 pounds a year if I did things this way. I was told by the council to pass these costs on to the customer .I am not allowed to go collecting for my money and park as this is not classed as work even if I pay my 5 pounds to collect £3.50 .So I am allowed to work but not get paid . These residents parking bays are punishing tax payers as they can not receive services ,the tradesmen should not be treated like this its killing business and making them very angry . When this is sorted I hope that they all demand their money back after all if the system is deemed wrong then how can anyone argue. I would call attention to the councils own website on this subject of residents parking,you really couldn't make it up ,even if you break down in a parking bay you will get fined unless you can prove your case with an AA or rac invoice ,if you park in a bay and then hit an old lady and are arrested,you wont get a ticket as you had no intent to leave your car . The council has so much power to make its own rules it is frightening . separate point ,did you know if you refuse to pay your council tax and you go to jail you still have to pay your council tax but if you get caught robbing an old woman and you go to jail there is no tax to pay. who"s rules D.B.C . jane1.r
  • Score: 2

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