Hundreds of fed-up residents are urging the council to put the brakes on the “unfair” parking permit scheme in Bedford’s zones A and B.
They say they are forced to spend £25 a year to park outside their own homes – only to find all the spaces taken up by commuters , shoppers or cinema goers.
“We still have difficulties parking day and night. Sometimes it takes an hour just to find a space. It is just unfair,” said Midland Road resident Ashik Uddin.
Last week he and fellow residents presented a petition signed by most of the 250 affected residents to Castle ward’s Conservative councillor David Fletcher.
The petition urges Bedford Borough Council to issue one parking permit free of charge to each household.
Currently the charge for a second permit is £74 a year and a third costs £95. These charges should be reduced to £15 and £25 respectively, said Mr Uddin.
The petition also begs the council to create more spaces by allowing residents to park on both sides of their street.
“We’re just fed up of paying for our permits then returning home from a long day of work to find our street and all the surrounding streets in the zone are full,” said Mr Uddin.
Midland Road is a five minute walk from the rail station so many residents believe the rogue parkers are commuters.
They have also noticed more parking problems since the cinema and restaurants opened in the Riverside North development – despite the multi-storey car park on site.
“We’re near the town centre too, so shoppers also take up our parking spaces,” said Mr Uddin.
Councillor Fletcher said he was pleased the residents had organised a petition and promised to hand it to the council’s director of environment Craig Austin.
“We hope the council will take notice of we what we are saying,” said Mr Uddin.