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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Devon drivers can park on double yellows for £5 a day

Kerb Side...
Devon County Council has been criticised for a new parking permit system that allows some drivers to park on double yellow lines for £5 a day.

In the past, like many councils, it has allowed people to apply for a permit to park in areas where it's usually banned, for example when work is being carried out on a property.

Now, though, it's to allow business owners, landlords and contractors to pre-purchase a book of dispensation permits. They can be used almost anywhere and any time, though not at the owner's home or business address.

There's a £5 charge for signing up to the scheme, with each daily permit costing the same.

But some locals are concerned that the permits could be sold on or lent to family and friends - particularly as most legitimate parking in the area costs more. The council has been accused of compromising safety in order to make more money.

A council source said "Almost anyone can apply and there will be little to no checks made – it's all just about money."

However, Devon County Council has promised to police the system carefully.

"The usage of the dispensation permits, as with all permits issued by the county council, are monitored by our civil enforcement officers," said a spokesman
"All dispensation permits require the display of contact telephone numbers and our team will make contact with the permit holder should there be an issue or concerns over their use."

Councils are increasingly being accused of using parking as a cash cow, with residents complaining that the price of parking outside their own home goes up every year.

Earlier this year, one man took the extreme step of forging a permit to park in his street, attempting to save himself £160 for the year.

In some cases, parking permit systems have been ruled unlawful by the courts. Earlier this year, a judge ruled that Barnet council in north London acted unlawfully when it put up the cost of residents' parking permits and visitor vouchers in controlled parking zones from £40 to £100.

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