A PROPOSED parking permit scheme has doubled in size.

County councillor Matthew Jenkins argued that his new plan for the Arboretum, in Worcester, would stop people from using the area as a free car park.

Residents often struggle to find empty spaces in the ward and end up parking far away from their homes, according to Mr Jenkins.

He added: "I was working on three separate schemes for the Arboretum when a council officer drew up this plan.

"It combines them. It's about double the size of the original plan. I'm hopeful we can get sufficient support from residents.

"People say we have tried this before, for 30 years, and it's never going to happen. We need to get them on board.

"There are not many spaces to park in the Arboretum, yet lots of people use it as a free car park for the city centre. Hopefully this will fix that to some extent."

Cllr Jenkins said there are well over 1,000 houses in the permit scheme area, which vertically spans from St George's Lane North to Southfield Street, and horizontally from Tennis Walk to the canal.

The councillor said letters would likely be delivered to residents in the affected areas in January.

He added: "This letter will explain the proposals and will include a voting slip asking whether residents support the proposals or not.

"In order to be successful, there must be a minimum return of 50 per cent and of those who return their vote there needs to be 80 per cent support.

"If there is sufficient support in the ballot early next year, then it will probably be implemented in autumn 2019."

He added that official bodies such as the police must be consulted ahead of a proper public consultation.

City councillor Gareth Jones, who represents the neighbouring St Stephen ward, expressed some reservations about whether the plan would succeed.

He said: "They were going to do a residents' parking scheme 10 or 11 years ago.

"Initially everyone favoured it, but when people found out they would be charged for a pass it failed.

"A lot of people are crying out for it but not when you have to pay for an annual ticket."

Cllr Jones added that he does not expect there to be an overspill of cars into his ward if the scheme goes ahead.

Under the new plan, each household would be allowed three permits, with the first costing £30, the second £40 and the third £60.

Visitor scratchcards would also be available at a price of £5 for ten sheets of four permits.

Residents will be able to ask questions about the plans at meetings next month.

The sessions will take place in Worcester Baptist Church at 7.30pm on December 10 and St George's Church at 7.30pm on December 11.