MOTORING: Bristol Parking permit price rises
Bristol City Hall at College Green. Image Bristol Live.
Bristol residents will have to pay more for their parking permits after the council approved an “inflationary” price hike.
The cost of residential and business parking permits is to rise by 17 per cent in all of the city’s residents’ parking zones (RPZs) except one – where the price of some permits is set to nearly triple by 2025.
Bristol has 15 RPZs – in Bower Ashton, Clifton East, Clifton Village, Cliftonwood & Hotwells, Cotham North, Cotham, Easton, Kingsdown, Redcliffe, Redland, St Pauls, Southville, Bedminster East, Montpelier and Spike Island – as well as a number of parking permit areas, one of which is also affected by the price hike.
The zones prioritise parking for residents, businesses and organisations through a system of parking permits, most of which must be paid for.
Bristol City Council’s Labour administration approved the permit price rises last week based on a report showing that inflation in the years since the fees were last put up amounted to 17 per cent.
Only one RPZ escaped the last price rise in 2015 – in Easton and St Philip’s – and it is this area which is set to be hit by much larger price increases to bring it line with the others.
It is not clear yet when any of the price rises will be introduced, but a report to cabinet members said the “not insignificant” increases in Easton and St Philip’s would be made in two stages “so the full impact will not be felt until 2025”.
“It is not appropriate for those in ES RPS [Easton and St Philip’s residents’ parking scheme] to be treated to different rules to residents or businesses in other scheme areas and that is why this change is being recommended,” officers said in the December 14 cabinet report.
“The changes will have an impact on citizens in ES RPS, but it’s important to record that these citizens are being treated differently to other citizens at the moment and that this change is intended to remove those anomalies to ensure that all citizens are treated equally.”
How will parking permit prices change in RPZs other than Easton & St Philip’s?
Residents in RPZs and parking permit areas can apply for up to three residential parking permits.
The first one is free if it is for a car with low CO2 emissions, but currently costs between £24 and £72 per year otherwise, depending on emissions and other factors.
That cost will rise to between £28 and £84 after the price hike.
The price of a second residential permit will increase from £96 to £112, and the cost of a third will rise from £192 to £224.
Businesses currently pay £240 per year for a staff permit and £250 per year for a customer permit. Those prices will jump to £280 and £292, respectively, and the discounted prices available will rise too.
These increases for residential and business permits will also apply to the parking permit area in Pitlochry Close, but not to those in Edward Road, Chatsworth Road and Cheswick Village, which are still in their first year of operation.
How will parking permit prices change in the Easton & St Philip’s RPZ?
Residents of Easton and St Philip’s pay less for their parking permits than people living in other RPZs, because the scheme began in 2014 with 2011 prices and was considered too new for the price rises introduced only a year later.
As in the other RPZs, the first residential parking permit is free for cars with low CO2 emissions
Residents currently pay a flat rate for residential permits for other vehicles, with the first costing £30, the second £80 and the third £200 per year.
These prices will change to match those in the other RPZs, with a sliding scale based on CO2 emissions.
By 2025, the cost of the most expensive first residential permit will reach £84 per year, a price 2.8 times higher than the flat rate of £30 charged now.
The cheapest first residential permit will be £2 cheaper, at £28 per year.
The cost to businesses for staff and customer permits will rise from £100 now to £280 and £292, respectively, by 2025, but discounts will also be available for schools, charities, places of worship and certain small businesses when Easton and St Philip’s has the same pricing structure as other RPZs.
A report to cabinet said: “As the combined financial impact of adopting standardised pricing at the same time as the inflationary uplift could be significant to both businesses and residents of ES RPS, we propose that the structure of Easton & St Philips is changed to reflect the other schemes but that the cost increases are spread over two tariff change cycles on the basis of half now and half at the next tariff review.”
The first price increase will bring them into line with current prices in other RPZs.
But a public consultation will be held on the proposed changes before then as they will require a change to a traffic regulation order. This will not be needed in the other RPZs.
Price rises expected to bring the council an extra £240,000
The council made a total of £1.33million from parking permit charges last year, according to the cabinet report.
It expects the new prices to generate an extra £244,000, bringing the total it makes each year from parking permits to £1.57million.
Cabinet members also rubber-stamped an increase in pay-and-display parking charges in RPZs on December 14, a move officers estimated will bring an extra £600,000 per year to the local authority’s coffers.
The council plans to review inflationary increases to RPZ permit prices and pay-and-display parking charges annually from now on, and to introduce price increases “when appropriate”.
A separate review of RPZ and parking permit area pricing and regulations will be undertaken and a report brought back to cabinet before March 2022.
A spokesperson from Bristol City Council said on Tuesday (December 21): “Discussions on the timescales for the introduction of the price changes will begin in the New year.”
Words: Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporter
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