LIVERPOOL Council will charge city residents £50 just for asking about having kerbs outside their homes dropped in a bid to raise cash and put off time-wasters.
The fees will be introduced because of the number of visits highways officers make to see people who want the work done – only to later change their minds.
Liverpool council said if the number of applications remains the same, it could generate up to £18,300 a year by charging £50 a time.
It currently deals with up to 366 inquiries a year and does not charge for assessments alone.
A council report said: "It is proposed the charge is introduced for these initial site checks through an application fee to discourage inquiries being made which are not progressed."
But opposition leaders said they were concerned the cost – on top of the £2,500 fee to install a dropped kerb – may put further financial pressure on disabled people who need them outside their homes for their mobility vehicles or wheelchairs.
Cllr Tim Moore, cabinet member for transport, said: "If there are any issues around that we would work with the council’s corporate access [disability] forum.
"This is about getting a more efficient service by reducing the number of inquiries and inspections.
"Every time an officer goes out for this, they could be doing other work. The charges are in line with many other councils."
In terms of equality implications, the report states only that "this proposal represents a change in process for an existing service already provided".
Liberal group leader Cllr Steve Radford said he did not that was a sufficient explanation, adding: "I think disabled people who may be under financial pressure may be penalised or deterred from enquiring.
West Derby resident Joe Johnson, 74, who uses a wheelchair, said he thought the council should be spending more money on dropped kerbs around the city, adding: "I sometimes have to travel up to half a mile on the pavements in my electric wheelchair before I can find somewhere to cross."
The council was unable to provide figures of how many enquiries that were not taken any further were made in the last year.