A “LUNATIC” proposal from Dudley Council on parking has been given a massive thumbs-down by residents in Russells Hall.

People living in streets around the borough’s biggest hospital have been calling for action from the council after being plagued by people parking outside their homes for years.

Last month the authority launched a consultation on a plan to charge £95 per car for resident’s parking permits in the area.

A massive 94 per cent of people who responded to the consultation rejected to the Russells Hall plan, which, according to Dudley’s Conservative opposition leader, cllr Patrick Harley, proves the consultation was a waste of time.

Cllr Harley said: “It was a completely pointless exercise, it is absolute lunacy to have spent even one pound on this consultation.”

Cllr Harley is calling for a review of parking across the borough and says fines for illegal parking in problem areas like Russells Hall could be used to subsidise a cheaper parking permit scheme.

Cllr Harley said: “Motorists pay enough to drive let alone to be charged for the luxury of parking in their own street. The key is enforcement - funds should be used to introduce affordable parking permits.

“The cabinet member must take some responsibility; he should have looked at this and said it is barmy.”

Dudley Council’s cabinet member for transport, Labour’s cllr Khurshid Ahmed, would not say whether he believed the plan ever had a chance of being approved but stressed it was important to put it, and a similar idea for Stourbridge’s Old Quarter, out for a full consultation.

He said: “This council is committed to listening and responding to its residents and communities and the parking permit consultations demonstrate this once again.

“What we then wanted to do was gauge overall feeling of as many residents as possible who would ultimately be affected by introducing such schemes.

”We have always said that the decision about whether parking permit schemes were introduced would lie with the residents in both areas. The communities involved have clearly indicated that there is little support for parking permit schemes therefore they will not be introduced."

He added the cost and amount of council officers’ time dedicated to the consultation had been kept to a minimum, but he could not give exact details.