’Til death do us park: Parking crisis threatens to topple Milton Keynes Council

A parking crisis is threatening to topple the council and kill off business in CMK.

This week hundreds of employers and workers have flooded the council with furious emails.

The unprecedented protest has been sparked by Labour’s plans to hike the cost of parking permits by 88 per cent over the next two years.

One vociferous complainant is banking giant Santander, which employs 3,000 people.

Director Clive Hawes attended a council cabinet meeting on Monday and afterwards sent a scathing email to all 57 councillors.

In the leaked document Mr Hawes said: “The parking situation is limiting our ability to do business efficiently and effectively in Milton Keynes and is frustrating employees.

“This cabinet is out of touch with the employees of MK and I fear their actions will, in time, be damaging for Milton Keynes.”

Meanwhile hundreds of other business leaders and employees are voting with their fingertips by firing off emails to every councillor about the proposed “extortionate” increase in charges.

Scarce spaces have already forced staff to spend up to 25 per cent of their salary on premium parking, pay twice when there are no spaces to use their permit, take breaks during the day to move cars and even relocate to out-of-town locations, say bosses.

The permit parking hike starts in April with the price rising from £1.60 a day to £2.40. By 2017 it will reach £3.

The council is addressing the problem by proposing 2,000 new spaces.

But businesses say this will only give an extra SIX standard rate bays if parking before 9.15am.

Councillors will vote on the budget on Wednesday.

Clive Hawes’ email continued: “The amount of senior management time already wasted on this parking issue is unprecedented and ridiculous.

“I was shocked at the level of arrogance and ignorance of the real issues demonstrated by cabinet at the meeting.”

We do not have similar issues in any of our other head office locations even where parking prices are high and availability low.”