Labour Councillors have called for immediate action by Westminster Council and City West Homes to end the parking chaos across council estates in Westminster caused by City West Homes’ repeated failure to stop non-permit holders from parking illegally on the estates.
Half-hearted action has been taken on Churchill Gardens estate where residents have recently been offered a ‘payment-holiday’ while the Council sorts out the parking chaos. But no such offer has been made to residents on other estates in Paddington where residents have been paying parking charges for two years without the necessary enforcement action back up from City West Homes.
Labour Councillors have sent details of the problems faced by residents on the Lydford, Wessex Gardens and Brunel estates to City West Homes and are now demanding immediate action.
A resident on the Lydford Estate writes:
“We have long-standing problems with illegal parking on the Lydford Estate, including people coming here to do drug deals, which we have raised on many occasions with CWH. If Churchill Gardens residents are getting a holiday from parking fees then this should apply across the City given that CWH has failed to enforce its own rules across the board. Like Churchill Gardens there are no bollards or gates so the estate is open to anyone who wishes to drive in and there is nothing to prevent someone parking in a designated parking space. I did a quick survey at 11.30am today. This is a snapshot – it is usually worse in the evenings and at weekends.
Drayford Close – 18 cars, 5 with permits
Portgate Close – 13 cars, 4 with permits
Lapford Close – 9 cars, 1 with a permit
Riverton Close – 16 cars, 8 with permits
It is not fair that some estate residents pay for parking while others don’t, or that people living in the neighbouring streets park on the estate to avoid paying for a street parking permit. Illegally parked cars often block or partially block access to designated parking spaces making it difficult for those with permits to get in and out. Cars are also parked on the ramps leading into each Close narrowing the entrance which could impede access for the emergency services etc.”
A Brunel Estate Resident writes:
“It is absolutely unbelievably unfair. Brunel and other Westminster Estates have been supplying free parking to all and sundry for over 2 years. Why should people on the Estates have to pay when non-residents and anyone else including residents have been parking on double yellow lines, (some double parking), parking spaces and visitors and contractors’ bays for nothing. Access to designated parking spaces is often denied because people are in them or parked in such a way that access to bays are restricted often vans or taxi drivers come in for lunch or a rest taking up these spaces that have already been paid for. I think anyone with a parking permit should be refunded since Wings was removed. Also, what about the law-abiding residents who have been buying visitors parking permits. Will they be given free the first year that parking restrictions are introduced and when will that be? When I went to put something in my car this morning, out of the 6 bays there were 4 cars parked and only one (mine) had a residents parking permit!”
A second Brunel resident writes:
“The residents’ parking on Brunel Estate is by numbered bays. I doubt any of us know how often illegal parking takes place in the bays. Many of them don’t have working lockable bollards, or any bollard at all, so who knows. I know one of my neighbours complained about someone parking on their bay. It seems Churchill doesn’t have bollards but it’s not true to say, as Jon does, that other Estates can be more easily controlled. Maybe some bays can but certainly not all.
We have, yet again, just this evening sent photographs to our managers to show someone parked right across his garage. This isn’t a one-off event. So, I know this isn’t the subject you’re asking about but the constant illegal parking is just a nightmare. Here the double yellow lines are just free parking and parking on box junctions is just a daily occurrence. I don’t see why anyone in residents’ parking bays should be charged when Tom, Dick and Harry from goodness knows where, can happily drive in and park 24/7 every day of the year.”
Wessex Gardens Estate
A Wessex Gardens Estate Resident writes:
“The issues on Wessex are we have gone from being regulated to a complete free for all. In the last year I have sent countless pictures of unauthorised vehicles parked across the front of garages and walkway access routes 24 hrs a day. We have commercial vehicles and dangerously full house clearance vans regularly parked in Dartmouth Close which means emergency vehicles such as Ambulance & Fire engine access is compromised. I have sent pictures of these to Customer Services and all I get is an auto response which btw is meaningless as no one follows up. As a result of these overfilled rubbish trucks which are a hazard as contents easily fall out I have sent in pictures of the rats that congregate by the verges outside residents’ properties that are attracted to the smell. Once upon a time people knew not to risk parking without authorisation -now everyone knows there will be no repercussions day or night.
The night time parking and idling of cars leads to outbreaks of ASB any one knows that. Why don’t they find a system that works well for residents and put it to us. Most reasonable people want this smartly managed – it does not take a sledgehammer to crack a nut, they don’t need to confiscate bollards that have been knocked over by vehicles whilst they take months prevaricating and announce, with no consultation, they intend to build an expensive gate on Talbot Rd – there is a better more effective way – we can show them the way if only they would ask.”