Parking charges leaving elderly without visitors, say Sunderland families

Pauline Miller is unhappy about parking permits being introduced in her father's street.
Pauline Miller is unhappy about parking permits being introduced in her father's street.
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A DAUGHTER has hit out at council chiefs over parking permits which she says restricts how often she can visit elderly relatives.

Sunderland City Council recently introduced a scheme for residents near the Stadium of Light allowing them to buy a permit to park outside their homes following a consultation.

Scratch cards allowing motorists to park can be bought for £1 a day.

Those without a permit or scratch card risk getting a fine of £70 should they be found to have parked in one of the designated streets on matchdays.

Sunderland-born Pauline Miller, whose dad Stanley Leonard, 85, and mother-in-law Elizabeth Miller, 82, both live in Bond Close, just yards from the ground, says the measure “penalises” those trying to visit family.

“We either have to pay for permits or risk a fine,” said Pauline, 50, who lives in Darlington with husband Bill.

“To me, that is promoting isolation for elderly residents and I think it’s unfair.”

Coun Michael Mordey, portfolio holder for city services, said: “Residents can purchase a residents permit and a visitors permit at the relevant charge, or scratch cards at a cost of £1 per day and these all guarantee parking.

“The visitor permits or the scratch cards can be used by drivers going to a property within the scheme. If any resident has a Blue Badge or is receiving regular care they can also apply for a visitors permit free of charge or alternatively pay £10 for a book of 10 scratch cards.

“All properties within the proposed boundaries were consulted on the scheme and a clear majority voted in favour.”