RESIDENTS objecting to plans to introduce a parking permit scheme in Stourbridge’s Old Quarter have launched a Facebook group to air their views.

Stourbridge mum Sarah Billingham has started the group ‘SAY NO to residential parking permits in Stourbridge Old Quarter!!’ after hearing Dudley Council is considering charging householders £95 a year (per vehicle) to park in the streets by their home.

She said she’d started the group as she believes “the reasons given in the recent proposal for residential parking permits in approximately 45 roads in the Old Quarter area unfounded”.

Dudley Council’s cabinet member for transport, councillor Khurshid Ahmed, said the scheme had been designed to deter visitors and workers from parking in side streets rather than paying to park on pay and display town centre car parks.

But many residents in the streets around Clifton Street say the streets are half empty in the daytime anyway.

Mrs Billingham added: “Roads are full in the evenings and weekends because that is when people are home. Designated parking bays would reduce the parking in South Avenue by at least 50 per cent because you will no longer be able to double park. If you are lucky enough to have a small driveway you will no longer be able to park across it as there will not be a bay positioned there.

“What about those who have to drive to drop off at Greenfield School? Where will they park to safely deliver their children in to school?

“I appreciate some roads are worse than others. Hill Street is pretty bad but some of that must be due to the doctors’ surgery, which is moving soon anyway. What is the justification for including roads such as Agenoria Drive? They all have driveways.”

Dudley Council has denied claims the scheme would be a money-making exercise - dubbing it “cost neutral” - and ward councillors Barbara Sykes and Ian Marrey say it was pleas from residents upset about parking problems in the area that prompted the council to draw up the proposed scheme which would initially run as a 12-month trial.

People residing and running businesses in the affected streets were due to receive consultation letters and questionnaires on the scheme this week and they will have until March 7 to respond.

The initiative will only go ahead if 80 per cent of those in the Old Quarter support the idea.

To have your say email the editor – - or check out the Facebook group