Zone DD Problems Enhanced by Council Confusion

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it's Zone DD - or Zone K

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All is still not well in Zone DD. Residents say confusion reigns after they were given Zone K permits by Ealing Council. Only 10 days ago, we revealed how residents were taken by surprise by the Controlled Parking Zone being brought in with little or no notice, which resulted in many residents receiving parking tickets or warning tickets.

Now, with some residents being given the wrong permits. Parking Services at Ealing Council seem to be causing problems and a few headaches for council tax payers.

Shani McNeill and her husband returned from holiday this week to find a  parking ticket on their car. Shani told me: “We were initially mystified as we thought we had parked in a correct parking bay, but when we looked at the ticket it had been given to us because we had not displayed a permit for Zone DD. The permit Ealing Council issued us is for Zone K.”


A parking warden who happened to be walking past confirmed that the ticket had been issued for displaying the wrong permit.


Mrs McNeill continued:  “We had assumed that Ealing Council had given us the correct permit when it was issued as all the paperwork was for Zone DD and we just put it on the car ready for 3rd Dec deadline.  About half the other cars parked on our street also have K permits and they have also been given parking tickets on the windscreen so it seems it wasn't just us that got the wrong permit. Or is it the wrong permit? We’re all very confused.”


On taking her investigations further, Mrs McNeill decided to look at the maps provided on the Ealing Council website showing where Zone K should be. In fact, the website doesn't currently have a map for DD.   The section of road she lives on (in between Berrymead Gardens and Winchester St) is within Zone K although the sign in the road says Zone DD.   


Mrs McNeill continued: “It seems that Ealing Council are just as confused as we are about what zone the road should be in. I have been told that Parking Operations will be sorting out the permits for those that received incorrect ones and in the meantime they will make sure that the Parking wardens do not come by this area until the issue is resolved!”


Vlod Barchuk answered some of the questions residents had about the confusion over when the Zone was starting (see article, right).


He told us: “In the week before last’s Gazette (page 74), a Traffic Management Order was published which stated that the regulations for Zone DD will come into effect on 10 December.


“The Council has delivered notifications and permit applications to every house.  Unfortunately no system is perfect and some houses are missed though sometimes residents mistake our letter for junk mail and throw it away unopened.


“Our usual practice is to only issue warning notices for the first two weeks of a CPZ going live; so all of the Penalty Charge Notices that were seen should have been just warning notices.  We use the PCN bags and they look like PCNs but have “WARNING NOTICE” across them.  This two week period allows all those who did not receive or identify the notification to their house to get a permit.


“For the future, we’re looking at the practicality of putting up street notices indicating the date when a new CPZ scheme goes live.”


But getting the timing right is one issue; now Ealing Council have to brush up on their geography, too.


There are also questions being asked by residents over whether Ealing Council, which recently came 7th out of over 450 local councils on the amount it spends on its advertising budget, is spending its money as effectively as it could be


December 20, 2007