Shopping centre all set for parking restrictions

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PERMIT parking will be launched in Hillsborough next week.

Householders who have complained about streets being clogged with cars will be able to buy permits – whose cost is going up – and many shoppers will have to pay for a parking spot.

The council said this week that two-thirds of residents and businesses around Hillsborough Corner were in favour of the scheme, which is designed to tackle long-stay commuter parking and to create a better turnover of spaces.

But some traders are worried that customers having to pay to park may drive them away at a time when efforts are being made to highlight the district centre for its many small independent shops.

Restrictions are being introduced in the Hillsborough Corner area after plans to cover a wider area, including streets around the Sheffield Wednesday ground, were dropped in the light of residents’ reaction.

Drivers will pay 40p an hour to park, although there will be no charge for up to 15 minutes for customers who want to pop into and out of shops.

There will be a settling-in period of two weeks when wardens will issue warnings instead of fines (£70, reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days).

The annual cost of a parking permit is due to go up from £10 to £20 for residents and £20 to £40 for businesses as part of the council’s austerity budget package.

Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for environment and transport, said the Hillsborough scheme was supported by “a considerable majority of local people”.

He added: “In the past many residents and businesses have struggled to park outside their premises due to people using the area as nothing more than a free car park, parking up on residential roads and getting the tram into town.

“A lot of consultation has taken place and we hope we’ve got the balance right but of course we will review the scheme and make any necessary adjustments.”

Resident Anna Hill, of Clarence Road, said: “I think permit parking is a great idea and it will vastly improve the quality of life for people in and around Hillsborough Corner. It can be so frustrating to drive round and around to find a space on your own street.

“If anything, I think the scheme could go further but we’ll wait and see how it goes and what the review says.

“Hillsborough is a great place and we need to encourage people to come and shop here and use the facilities. In the past it has been clogged up with commuter parking.”

Daniel Szurko, partner in fishmongers JH Mann, in Hillsborough Road, said parking could be a “joke” because of a shortage of spaces but he was concerned about the impact of parking fees.

“There has been a big difference in Hillsborough since the Asda opened (at Parson Cross). People say they are using it because of the parking. They don’t have to worry about getting a ticket.”

Mr Szurko also doubted that the 15 minutes free parking would be long enough for most shoppers.

The Hillsborough scheme will be reviewed after six to 12 months, and the next area for permit parking is the Upperthorpe area.