Parking zones roll-out under spotlight as Newham swells
PUBLISHED: 12:30 02 November 2016 | UPDATED: 08:54 08 November 2016
If you drive around the borough, chances are you’ll be aware of the new residential parking zones being rolled out.
But their introduction has not been a smooth ride, with residents experiencing mislaid parking permits, shoddy signage and claims of a “curtailing of social activities”.
Newham Council announced the zones earlier this year as part of its £100million investment to “keep Newham moving”.
Depending on where you live or work – and your personal circumstances – resident parking zones (RPZs) provide residents a guaranteed space in an increasingly visited borough.
However, some people say they have been adversely affected by the implementation of the new zones in recent weeks.
Manor Park resident Eshan Sharif says he risked incuring expensive fines after his permit failed to turn up in time for the launch of a RPZ in his street.
Mr Sharif, an Uber driver, requested his free household permit on October 5, after being notified of the incoming zone by letter at the end of September.
He should have received his permit within 10 working days but was still waiting for it to arrive on Monday last week, when the new parking zone came into effect.
What the father of four did receive was a “warning” penalty charge notice placed on the windscreen of his car in Grantham Road where he lives.
Parking difficult for college students
A mature student is worried she and other fellow pupils could lose their course places as a direct result of an introduced RPZ.
Retired Vicky Grainger, 62, is in her fourth term of a watercolour painting class at Little Ilford Learning Zone in Rectory Road.
However, the East Ham resident said spaces had become “hotly contested” since the RPZ began in Manor Park this summer.
“It is all residents’ parking,” Ms Grainger said.
“There are about five parking bays [at the end of Rectory Road] that get full up with people parking at the nearby garage.”
Ex-Langdon Primary School teacher Ms Grainger said students had been told they risked losing their places if they missed more than two classes.
She currently relies on a friend to drop her off.
“It is an issue about social interaction and mobility,” she said.
“It is increasingly difficult to access this area.”
A Newham Council spokeswoman said a consultation process “helped to inform the design” of the area’s parking plan.
She said: “We introduced a number of shared use bays that allow motorists in the area free parking for up to two hours.”
“I said it doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “I live here and I cannot park outside my home.”
Mr Sharif received three such notices in 48 hours which stated that the driver had parked his car “in contravention of a valid parking restriction and that this warning has been issued”.
When he complained to the council, he was told he would have to park outside of the RPZ – an estimated mile away – while he waited for his new permit to be posted.
“I think it is a little bit harsh,” said Mr Sharif who has lived in the road for 11 years.
The 38-year-old says he was “relieved” when the permit finally arrived on Friday.
A spokeswoman for Newham Council said Mr Sharif’s complaint was being “investigated to see if there was a delay in processing his original application, and why it occurred”.
She said: “In the meantime we are pleased Mr Sharif has now received his permit and apologise for any inconvenience.”
She added: “Newham is a rapidly growing borough – we have seen an increase in new jobs and homes being created as well as increased number of visitors.
“This has had the effect of increasing traffic, congestion and demand for parking.
“The council is determined to prioritise parking for residents on their streets and eliminate commuter parking.
“To address this, the council is extending RPZs across the borough, making it easier for people to park close to their own homes.”
She added a consultation process enabled residents to have their say on their local RPZ.
Driver says safety ‘put at risk’
An East Ham resident fears being a victim of crime as she cannot get a car space outside her home.
Full-time worker Ginnette Forde, 54, also regularly volunteers out of hours, sometimes finishing her shifts at 1am.
As her half of Flanders Road does not have an RPZ, she often finds it hard to find a space, leaving her “vulnerable”.
“I just want to be able to park,” she said. “I feel exposed walking down the road.”
Flanders Road has now completed an initial consultation period and is moving into the legal phase, according to a council spokeswoman.
She said: “We expect to introduce an RPZ to this resident’s area by the end of January next year.”
Parking zone poles moved after residents complain
The council have been forced to move new parking zone poles after complaints about their “ridiculous placement”.
CPZ signs were added to the middle of Capel Road pavement in Forest Gate two weeks ago.
Residents said their proximity – placed about every 100 yards or so – had turned their tree-lined road into a “pole-lined” street.
Concerns were also raised about how mothers with prams and children or double prams would get past.
Following criticisms about the “eyesore”, the council repositioned the posts next to the hedges.
Tim Hutchinson, who has lived in Capel Road for nine years, called the initial work “awful”.
Speaking prior to the move, he said: “They are really ugly, it was one of the area’s nicest roads.”
He later thanked the council for “seeing through the problem and listening to the concerns of the residents in Forest Gate”.
Another resident, Donna Guthrie, said signage issues had also blighted Shrewsbury Road since their 2011 introduction.
A spokeswoman for Newham Council said: “Following concerns raised by Capel Road residents we repositioned the posts within 24 hours.
“[In Shrewsbury Road] the parking posts/signs are installed to the minimum requirement as set out by the Department for Transport.”
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