Sunderland parking permit plan slammed as ‘recipe for chaos’

Barbara Richards of Church Street, Southwick, Sunderland, who is concerned about match day parkig oin the area, despite parking restrictions in force.
Barbara Richards of Church Street, Southwick, Sunderland, who is concerned about match day parkig oin the area, despite parking restrictions in force.
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RESIDENTS claim extending a parking permit scheme will only bring more chaos to their Sunderland streets.

Thousands of householders across the city are being consulted on proposals for a new permit scheme in a bid to put an end to parking nightmares.

Parking on match day in Church Street area.

Parking on match day in Church Street area.

However, those living in the area where a parking scheme has been in place for a year, say it has been a ‘complete waste of money’ and has just caused more issues than before.

Barbara Richards, who lives in Church Street, Southwick, said residents thought the scheme was going to ease matchday mayhem when Sunderland are playing at the Stadium of Light, but it has made matters worse and they are now paying for the privilege of being unable to park outside their own homes.

She said: “A huge machine came and removed all the double yellow lines and then they spent a fortune putting up signs, which nobody takes any notice of.

“I have seen a traffic warden five times in the whole year and then they only ticket a couple of cars.

The whole thing is a farce and if they can’t maintain the permit scheme area already there, how will they do it when it is three times the size?

“I’ve rang up the council numerous times and they said they are having trouble recruiting traffic wardens.

“The whole thing is a farce and if they can’t maintain the permit scheme area already there, how will they do it when it is three times the size?”

Barbara, 61, a retired carer, said when she tries to point out the permit parking-only signs to motorists parking to head to the Stadium of Light she often gets abuse, once so badly she ended up calling the police.

She said: “Everyone around here is complaining about it. At least when there were the yellow lines, people would think twice about parking, now they just leave their cars anywhere.”

The mum-of-one said: “The people being consulted now need to know that even if they have a permit it doesn’t guarantee you a parking space.”

More than 4,500 households and businesses are being consulted on the proposals for the extended parking permit scheme, with leaflets being distributed this week. Householders will get a free permit for the first vehicle, but have to pay for any subsequent vehicles or visitor permits and businesses will also have to buy a permit.

Councillor Michael Mordey, Portfolio Holder for City Services, Sunderland City Council, said: “There was extensive consultation with residents and businesses before the introduction of the first events based Parking Management Scheme at the Stadium of Light. This saw a majority of people voting in favour of introducing the scheme.

“The council is now consulting with residents and businesses regarding extending the scheme. Like all previous parking management schemes the council will only move forward if this is backed by a majority of residents living in the area. I would encourage everyone to let us know their views by participating in the consultation.”

As well as the North Sunderland area, other parking schemes under consultation are for parts of the Ashbrooke and Thornholme areas.