TIME is running out for Russells Hall residents to have their say on proposals for a paid-for parking permit scheme.

Dudley Council’s controversial consultation on plans to introduce the permit plan on 13 streets near the hospital will end on Friday March 7.

The plan, designed to deter hospital visitors and staff from parking in the area, would impose a £95 fee per car for residents’ bays and extra charges would apply for visitors.

People in the region have been contacting the News to express their outrage at the scheme, which looks unlikely to win the support it needs to get the go-ahead for a 12-month trial.

Zena Heath, who lives in Pearce Close, said: “It’s ridiculous, why should people have to pay to park outside their own homes.”

Reg Hill, also from Pearce Close, added: “They have dived in at the deep end without knowing what they are taking on.”

Graham Jackson from Pearce Close said: “It makes me wonder where the council’s loyalties lie, with residents or with strangers who want to park here.

“People will still try to get away with it, they don’t police it, if you ring Dudley Council Plus to tell them, nothing happens.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, added: “Is it not a better idea to apply for free resident only parking permits? Therefore all other people parking without permits can be fined.

“Nobody seems to check these side roads anyway judging by the places that some people park.

“I have seen people with wheelchairs and pushchairs having to go onto the road to get past parked cars and a taxi.”

Kim Avison, from Pearce Close, said: “I am absolutely disgusted, it’s an appalling idea, I will fight it, it is definitely a cash cow - I won’t pay.”

Dudley Council says the fees associated with the scheme will only cover its costs and they are responding to requests from residents.

Cllr Khurshid Ahmed, Dudley cabinet member for transportation, said: “Residents living near the hospital have been asking Dudley Council to look at resident permits to help with on-street parking for some time and that is why this consultation is taking place.

“Ultimately it will be the residents who will decide if this scheme is right for them as there will need to be an 80 per cent uptake in favour of the permits in order for it to go ahead.”

Streets included in the consultation are Ashenhurst Road, Abbotsford Drive, Bushey Fields Road, Dereton Close, Geston Road, Hawkesley Road, Hilderic Crescent, Kingswinford Road, Middlepark Road, Overfield Road, Pearce Close, Quentin Drive and The Oval.