Beware: It's Possible You Could Be Ticketed

If you park in K with K1 permit

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Last week, stopping to pick something up in Churchfield Road, I parked legally in Zone K on Churchfield Road.

My Zone K1 permit was, as usual, clearly displayed. As I paid, the owner of the shop said there was a warden hovering around my car, but that I shouldn't need to worry, should I, because I had a valid permit. I walked out and asked the warden (or Civil Enforcement Officer as I should call her) whether she was giving me a ticket. She said she would be giving me a ticket - unless I moved my car immediately.

After a short discussion, during which I explained to the Enforcement Officer that the rules were that Zone K1 permits were allowed to park in Zone K parking bays and she explained to me that I shouldn't tell her how to do her job, we parted on reasonably good terms as I drove away without a ticket.

Emails to and were sent as soon as I returned home on that day (last Monday).

I saw the same Enforcement Officer a couple of days later and asked her what the situation really was, since I had kept the letter from Ealing Council and by then had double-checked that it did indeed state clearly, that (and I quote from the letter which is undated but signed on behalf of Parking Services) "Residents with a Zone K permit can park in resident bays within Zone K1 and Zone K whilst displaying a valid resident Zone K1 permit, dispensation or Visitor Voucher."

The Enforcement Officer told me that a memo had been sent out from Ealing Council which is unclear. She also told me that at the end of the year, the rules will be changed and Zone K1 permits will not be allowed in Zone K bays.

Acton Central's Cllr Vlod Barchuk has said no one from Ealing Council should suggest that Zone K and K1 will not be as one from a residents' perspective. He wasn't overjoyed to hear the latest development when I saw him at the weekend.

Earlier this week, I heard from another resident who showed me a ticket (given by the same Enforcement Officer) for parking in a Zone K bay with a Zone K1 permit.

It's not clear whether this Enforcement Officer has a grudge against Zone K1 permits, or whether there is a communication problem between Parking Services at Ealing Council and APCOA's Civil Enforcement Officers.

I received today a letter from Phil Burns at Ealing Council Parking Services which apologises for "the incorrect information given... By the Civil Enforcement Officer." He also said he would be forwarding my emails to APCOA to ensure that all officers are aware of the regulations.

So with any luck this will have been dealt with and there will be no more ambiguity, but if any Zone K resident has received a Zone K ticket, they should presumably return it to Ealing Council Parking Services with an explanatory note.

Clare Gittins


October 1, 2008