Leeds city council has been forced to make a u-turn over a plan to charge more than 20,000 people £50 a year to park outside their own homes.
The climbdown comes after a court ruled a London council’s bid to raise its charges for a similar scheme illegal - and after more than 4,000 people responded to a consultation and slammed the idea.
The authority spends £164,000 a year on running existing free residents’ parking permit schemes, with 21,374 people holding permits. The aim of the new levy was to offset those costs in the light of budget pressures.
However a report to be presented to the council’s decision-making executive board next week recommends dumping the plan altogether after a huge response to the consultation. The report also admits that the recent Barnet ruling was a factor. The judge in that case said the law does not authorise councils to charge residents for parking in order to raise surplus transport revenues.
The authority had previously insisted the plan was “reasonable”, as such charges are already levied by many other local councils.
However the report says: “Having considered the...consultation responses and also taken account of the judicial ruling against Barnet council’s proposals, it is considered that a fee for residential permits should not be progressed further at the present time”.
The council is now vowing to develop a more “tailored approach” by reviewing existing free residents’ parking schemes which are no longer needed, and by considering “how further economies can be made”.
Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of the Leeds Conservative Group, said: “These plans were ill-conceived. The administration is now left with a humiliating climbdown, but at least common sense has prevailed.”