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Residents face dilemma as self-regulated parking scrapped

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

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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  • mfy66

    23:27, 25 September 2020

    We fought for years to have parking restrictions put in place due to the council closing off an an access road entrance to a local school. Due to the closure off the access road this in turn had a detrimental affect to the remaining road which not a through road. Cars were forced to use the street which is a dead end to mount the curbs and park on the road. Use residents driveways to park in or turn around. Residents were not able to leave or enter their own homes due to inconsiderate actions of others. We have school children , parents and siblings accessing the residential street with only 1 access and the same exit point. When a residents parked car was driven into by a vehicle travelling down the road it was due to the driver bending down to pick up their pencil which had rolled off the dashboard. They then drove straight into the parked car. Children were walking pass on the pavement and if the car was not there it was most likely to have caused and serous accident. There has been other incidents of children being knocked over by cars and luckily this has never been serious. This scheme was set up at no cost to the council and has been successfully run for many years. No one has been hurt and it had kept our vulnerable and elderly residents as well as those accessing the street safe. I understand their are many areas in which the scheme is up and running but each area should be looked at on an individual basis and risk assessed accordingly. Its not all about money!

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  • billyfish14

    23:53, 24 September 2020

    The default should be that parking on public roads is open to all – we all pay the various taxes that fund maintaining the streets. If there are situations where residents aren't able to park near their home (e.g., if it's a residential street, with no off-street parking that's next to the train station) or if the number of parked cars makes the road dangerous, then resident-only parking can be a good solution. But, permit-holder parking restrictions have been introduced in far too many areas in Maidenhead where there wasn't ever a shortage of on-street parking (and the houses have their own drives and garages anyway). They were introduced based on polling of the residents rather than an assessment of whether there was an actual problem that needed solving. When asked whether they'd like to reserve the street for themselves, most people said yes. In the Boyn Hill area, there are quiet, wide streets where every house has a driveway, and they were allowed to introduce permit-parking. Now those streets are empty of parked cars while commuters are forced to park on narrower, busier roads – making them more dangerous. Having parking spaces on a public street reserved for your exclusive use is a privilege, and it seems fair that you should pay for it. I'm hoping that the charges push people to tell the council that their street doesn't actually need it, but I suspect that the amounts are too low for that to happen.

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