The rent on a number of Blackpool garages has soared by 100 per cent, to the dismay of people who struggle to find parking spaces on the streets.
Conservative councillor Tony Williams accused Blackpool Council of holding residents to ransom over the garages on Brighton Avenue, South Shore, after rent was increased by 100 per cent.
Residents who use the garages now must pay £16 every week to maintain ownership after costs were raised.
The garages previously cost £8 per week to rent.
Blackpool Coastal Housing insist that the rent is ‘still very reasonable’.
Coun Williams said: “This is a big increase in cost. £16 a week for your garage adds up to around £60 a month.
“The people who rent these garages are trapped, really. There’s nowhere to park on the street so they have to rent the garages.
“Now the council is holding them to ransom, because they have got nowhere else to go.”
Waterloo ward councillor Derek Robertson hires one of the garages.
He said: “It’s absolutely disgusting. How can they raise the cost by 100 per cent? I think it’s absolutely terrible.
“The people have been renting these garages for many years. Now some of the residents are planning on giving up their garages because the cost is too high.
“I do rent one of the garages myself and have done so for six years. I will have to pay the increase too.
“We have a problem with parking in our area as it is, and people rent the garages so they have got a place for their cars.
“If I didn’t have access to the garages I would struggle to find parking.
“This decision was done without consulting the people who rent the garages. I don’t understand how they can do that in good conscience.”
Hotelier Barry Vernon, who owns the Lynwood Hotel on Trafalgar Road and rents one of the garages, said: “I think it’s disgusting. They didn’t give us any notification whatsoever.
“We can afford to pay it at the moment, but what about the people who can’t?
“In this area you don’t dare move your car if you haven’t got a garage because you know you won’t have a parking space when you get back.”
John Donnellon, chief executive of Blackpool Coastal Housing, said: “A number of people renting the garages told us that it was often difficult to get into the site because of the way other car users were parking in the area.
“The best solution to help them was to install new gates and invest in a secure locking system that would not only make it easier to access the site but would also provide greater security.
“Given these improvements and the prime location of the garages we believe that the rent that we are charging is still very reasonable.
“Compared to other garage rental charges in the area we are very much on par in terms of cost.”