05:00PM, Wednesday 23 September 2020
Residents have hit out at the council over a decision to end self-administered parking on all roads.
In February, the Royal Borough agreed to get rid of free resident parking and introduced annual rates of £50 for the first car, £70 for the second and £100 for all additional permits.
Residents in self-administered parking areas such as Woodcote and Chauntry Road were taken by surprise when they heard the new rules would apply to their streets as well.
In a self-administered scheme, members of the community control parking on that street, with penalties issued to anyone without either a resident’s permit or visitor’s voucher.
The permits are free to residents and they can print as many visitor vouchers as they like.
However, in August, residents were contacted by the council, alerting them – in case they ‘may not be aware’ – that self-administered parking is included in the changes.
Roger Panton, a Woodcote resident who administrates parking for the street, said the current scheme has been working for 10 years, and this decision by the council ‘hasn’t been thought through.’
“It’s not costing the council anything, expect for a few signs,” he said.
“I think it’s obvious they want to raise money and they’re stuck,” said Mr Panton. “So they’re going to have to raise money by becoming unpopular. It’s short sighted.”
Self-administered parking schemes will cease on March 31, 2021.
Before then, those living on self-administered parking roads will have to choose whether to opt in or out of the council administered scheme.
If they choose to opt in, they will all have to
purchase annual permits at the Royal Borough’s rates and accept council regulations on the number of permits and vouchers permitted.
However, if they opt out, they will be accepting a system of unrestricted parking, meaning anyone can park on the street if they can find a space.
Councillor David Cannon, lead member for parking, said:
“There were two different schemes operating in the borough and it was agreed to make it simpler we would have one system.
“The same position is faced by residents in both current council managed schemes and self-administrated schemes, to remain a residents parking area or to revert to unregulated parking.”
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