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Drivers fuming as council starts charging them to park outside their own home

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DRIVERS have been left fuming as their local council started charging them to park outside their own homes.

Residents of Didcot, Oxfordshire, slammed the new measure as a “tax” and campaign groups claim it is part of a “war on motorists“.

Residents of Didcot, Oxfordshire, claim they are effectively being 'taxed' to park outside their own homes

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Residents of Didcot, Oxfordshire, claim they are effectively being ‘taxed’ to park outside their own homesCredit: Getty – Contributor

The council insists the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) restrictions are “intended to prioritise residents’ parking needs'” and claims that all the money raised will be redirected back into enforcement.

Similar policies have also been enacted in areas across the country including the East Riding of Yorkshire, Liverpool and London Boroughs like Camden, Hounslow and Haringey.

CPZs mean all on-street parking is regulated by double yellow lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with only cars displaying permits allowed to park.

But locals are less convinced of the plans and have accused the local authority of “boosting its coffers” with fines for those failing to comply.

Commenting on the policy on social media, Trever Ockwell said: “Glad I don’t live there.

“What if you have multiple cars, and why should residents pay to park?

“It is nothing but another tax.

“Oxfordshire demonstrates how much it hates the car again.”

Others called it a “cash cow scheme” and claimed it will push traffic onto surrounding roads.

And the Alliance for British Drivers campaign group was scathing in its criticism.

A post from the organisation read: “Another policy designed to boost the coffers at the expense of residents. #WarOnMotorists.”

Oxfordshire County Council denied this claim and announced that roadworks are “imminent” to install the new signage and road markings.

Our street is divided by rich & poor… the wealthy must park their motors miles away – & we hate when they use our bins

Drivers have been asked not to park on the roads affected while these works are carried out.

They will also have to apply for new residents’ permits, which will only be available in digital form and will cost £70 a year.

A council spokesperson said: “Controlled parking zones are intended to prioritise residents’ parking needs.

“They discourage commuters and other overspill parking from taking up spaces on residential streets.

How can you challenge parking restrictions?

Brits are able to challenge parking restrictions in their council areas under the Road Traffic Act of 2004.

Residents can club together to create a petition to the council as long as it meets certain criteria – a minimum number of signatures and the provision of sufficient information in the petition.

These minimum levels are set by the council but, under the law, must be set low “wherever practicable” and should “encourage engagement”.

Once a petition is received, it should be considered for review in a way that:

  • Protects local democracy – decisions made by accountable elected representatives
  • Includes a method for escalating decisions when they are not made by councillors
  • Is carried out in a publically accessible forum.

Councils must also publish all reports and decisions on such matters.

“CPZs are tailored to the needs of the individual area, including the timings of restrictions.

“The restrictions only apply to parking on the highway, so do not affect off-street parking on driveways or garages.”

They also invited locals to share their view in the council consultation on the issue.

It comes after Martin Lewis warned every car, bike and van owner that they could be owed thousands amid a brewing car finance scandal.

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