RESIDENTS’ parking zones in Darlington should be reviewed to make sure they are fit for purpose, but budget constraints mean it won’t happen until 2016, councillors have been told.

The issue of RPZs around Darlington was also discussed by Darlington Borough Council’s place scrutiny committee after consultation on the parking strategy for the town led to a number of comments about the cost of the system.

The committee heard that the consultation responses on RPZs were split between those who did not want to have to pay to park outside their homes, and others who accepted the need for an administration fee but were against proposed increases.

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Residents also complained about the system being abused by commuters, particularly around the town centre and Bank Top Station, and inconsiderate parking around schools, colleges and the hospital.

Councillor Paul Harman, member for Park East, said the painted lines and signage required for the RPZs had made the streets look untidy and confusing for motorists and he called for a universal system, where only people who lived in a particular street could park there.

Owen Wilson, the council’s officer for the parking strategy, said he did not believe a ‘one-size fits all’ approach would work in different streets but he agreed that a review of the system was necessary.

However, due to the time the review would take, Mr Wilson indicated that it would not be possible to free up enough officer time to complete the task until at least 2016-17.

He said: “I’m sure there will be a lot of residents, and ward councillors too, who will be upset at that news, but I’m afraid that’s the situation we have. We will continue to review RPZs on an individual basis if there are particular problems.”