Non Zone K1 Residents Need Read No Further
Our correspondent gets to the bottom of permit-gate
Another week, Another Zone K1 tale of woe.
This morning my phone rings. It is a neighbour who runs a business locally. She sounds stressed out and worried.
She has called Ealing Council Parking Services to ask about renewal of her parking permit. Perhaps you have guessed the next bit of the story already, but anyway - she (like me) lives in Zone K1.
Zone K1, for anyone who wants to know and isn't a regular reader of items on this site with 'K1' in the heading, is almost the same as Zone K except that it's cheaper because the roads in Zone K1 are policed by wardens (sorry, Civil Enforcement Officers) for only two hours a day instead of 9:00am-5:00pm. But our permits enable us Zone K1 residents to park (when necessary) in Zone K and make use of the ever growing number of useful and inviting shops on Churchfield Road (or maybe even the High Street) when we need to do so by car.
"I am so worried," she says.
"If I am not able to park my car, I will not be able to run my business, it's as simple as that."
Parking Services have told her this morning that shortly she will receive a letter from Ealing Council Parking Services (along with all other residents in Zone K1) to tell her that she will soon no longer be allowed to park in Zone K.
Her stress was all too evident in her voice. I reassured her that this 'No Zone K1 in Zone K' rumour was just that, and that I thought she must have spoken to someone at the Council who was ill informed which seems to be happening frequently over the past few weeks. She later called me back to give me the name of the someone at Parking Services to whom she had spoken and said she had been told the same thing again.
Meanwhile, I have been waiting since last Thursday for an answer to questions I put to Ealing Council about this matter, about the problems people have had renewing their permits, over-paying for Zone K1 permits and being misinformed by the Council.
Frustrated with the lack of answers, I too rang Parking Services this afternoon. The number given on Ealing Council's website (020 8825 6677) rings for one minute and then hangs up saying in a posh voice 'sorry, there is no reply'. Perhaps someone might like to fix this?
He tells me that they have 'checked the consultation' (there has been no consultation for most Zone K1 residents since the last one which happened over two years ago) and that Zone K1 permits are allowed to park in Zone K and vice versa (not that Zone K residents often find they need this facility).
I ask whether I can have this in writing, preferably from his supervisor.
Within a couple of hours, I received the following from a spokesperson at Ealing Council. The annotations in italics, which I trust you may find useful, are mine:
"Because of an administrative problem with our computer database residents in the newly created Zone K1 [it has actually been in operation since October 2008 so not that new but maybe that's nit-picking] were incorrectly issued with and charged the amount for the Zone K permit. All those residents who have been overcharged will be receiving a cheque in the post this week, together with a letter apologising for the error. [It is hoped that those of us who have only been paying £25 will not be sent an unexpected windfall...]
"Alternatively people can bring their forms in person to Parking Services, Perceval House, 14-16 Uxbridge Road, Ealing."
Anyone who encounters any problems with this, or who is told anything different to the above statement should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 26, 2010