RESIDENTS are planning to cause traffic mayhem as part of a protest over the borough council's controversial parking permit scheme in central Ellesmere Port.
Homeowners are arranging for a convoy of cars to travel at slow speed through the town centre to send out a message of intent ahead of next week's consultation meeting.
The demonstration is set to take place from 8-9.30am, starting at the bottom of Princes Road, with residents using banners, posters and loudspeakers to get their point across.
More than 350 people turned up for a public meeting on the issue at the Civic Hall on Monday night and vowed to continue fighting until they get the scheme that suits their needs.
They are adamant they will not pay any money towards the scheme, are demanding they are given enough permits to park their vehicles outside their homes and refuse to be dictated to how many visitors they can have.
Councillor Ian Ormerod, chairman of the residents' action group, said: 'I'm urging all residents and business people to turn out for a properly organised and law-abiding demonstration where we will drive slowly through the town.
'We apologise for the inconvenience it may cause to the public but I'm sure they will understand and be sympathetic to our cause.
'We will be sitting down this week to organise a specific route and members of the public are welcome to join us and show their support.'
Council chiefs came in for fierce criticism from residents for their no-show on Monday after declining an invitation to attend because it was not an official council meeting.
Ward councillors Catherine Sherlock and Marie Lewis were also heavily criticised for failing to attend and show their support for the residents.
As a result, during the meeting, the public voted unanimously for Cllr Jonathon Starkey, who lives in the ward, to put their views forward at the public consultation meeting.
Meanwhile, Cllr Tony Sherlock, chairman of the environment committee, has stood by his comments on Radio Merseyside that residents will not be charged for the parking scheme.
He said: 'This is not a taxing scheme, that has never been our intention. The purchase of scratchcards was originally proposed by council officers.
'What we have to realise is that these scratchcards have a street value. The idea was to see how it would run and how many people need them.
'Somebody could get 25 passes one day and do the same the next. It was always our intention that they would be free.
'If residents have problems we will assist them. This is not the council's scheme, it's the residents' scheme.'
The public consultation meeting over the permit scheme will take place at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall on Monday at 7.15pm.