OUTRAGE surrounding a 70 PER CENT increase in parking permits for Glasgow residents has reached Hillhead.

The area is the latest in the West End to be informed of the changes, which were brought in as part of Glasgow City Council’s annual budget.

From August 20, the cost of an annual permit will rise from £50 to £85 or quarterly, from £15 to £23.75.

Stephen Johnstone, who lives in Hillhead, said the increase could force him to give up his car completely.

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He explained “Everything is going up except our wages, how are we supposed to afford this?

“We can barely even get a parking space but are expected to pay such a big chunk of our income to a permit.

“I’ll just have to give up my car if things keep going the way they are.”

The changes will also affect those coming to visit the area.

It will now cost 20p per 15 minutes for up to an hour and 40p per 15 minutes thereafter.

The costs were previously limited to 20p for the first 30 minutes then 20p for every 10 minutes thereafter.

Businesses have been given slight relief under plans as their permits will be reduced from £700 a year to £650.

Concerns have been raised that the costs could further damage trading for independent businesses, especially those on Byres Road.

Increases will also be rolled out in Partick, Dowanhill and Yorkhill with streets in Hyndland, Hughenden and Dowanhill West recently becoming subject to permits.

Hillhead councillor Hanzala Malik said a number of constituents have approached him with concerns regarding the increase.

He said: “People are feeling the pinch more than ever. The change is a large hike and the cost of everything seems to be going up.

“There has been an increase in council tax and utility bills continue to rise - everything except from wages.

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“Because there has been no consultation, people are not aware of what is happening and have had no say in the matter. “The transparency is gone.

“They want to know where their money is going because there hasn’t been any improvement to the roads or even the parking metres.

“I would be hoped to encourage commuters to use public transport but the bus services are not fit for purpose.

“For many families a car isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.”

Councillor Ken Andrew added: "Residents Parking Permits have not increased in price since they were first introduced in 2005. At 23p per day they still represent excellent value for money. This increase, the first in 13 years, amounts to less than 10p per day.

"At this price Residents Parking Permits continue to offer significant benefits to local communities, such as those around Byres Road and the wider west end. Having such a scheme in place reduces the amount of commuters parking on local streets, helping to ensure residents can park as close as possible to their own homes.

"The Permits increase travel options for residents, who can leave their car at home and travel by alternative means if they wish.

"There are further benefits to discouraging commuters from residential areas, including road safety, ease of access for emergency vehicles and driving down emissions and congestion."

A council spokesman said: “This measure was agreed at a meeting of the Full Council as part of the process to set our annual budget.

“Residents parking permits offer significant benefits to local communities.

“Having a permit scheme in place reduces the amount of commuters parking on local streets, helping to ensure residents can park as close as possible to their own homes.

“The permits increase the travel options for residents, who can leave their cars at home and travel to work by alternative means if they wish.

“Fewer parked cars also means greater road safety, particularly for pedestrians, and ease of access to streets for vehicles from the emergency and cleansing services.

““Communities were notified of the changes to the charges for parking permits in accordance with the relevant legislation.”