Newtown residents were left confused this week after the sudden announcement of a new parking scheme in the area.
People living on Maunsell Place and Wainwright Place were said to be completely unaware of the scheme as signs were placed and residents received letters and parking permits from UK Car Park Management Ltd (CPM) informing them that from Monday, September 25, all vehicles will need a parking permit.
The letter states ‘any vehicle not displaying a valid permit or parking in a non-designated parking area may receive a Parking Charge Notice’.
James Hazeldon, who lives on Maunsell Place, said: “I’ve lived here years and have never had a problem.
“I use off-road parking, although there are unmarked council-owned parking bays at the end of the road which can sometimes be an issue, but the first I heard about these permits is when the sign went up last Saturday.”
He continued: “It’s been done without people knowing about it. Residents weren’t aware of it, nobody knows where the designated parking is and now we could get charged for parking outside our own house!”
Many residents expressed their concern as households were only given one permit, though many have multiple cars, and fears there could be fines for off-road parking.
However, it has been confirmed by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) that the permits are only enforced in the council-owned bays along Maunsell Place and Wainwright Place - ‘if no bays are available residents can use the off-road parking without fear of enforcement’.
Cllr Alex Howard (Con. Aylesford Green) said: “Parking is an issue as there is a lack of spaces due to people parking there and going to work, the outlet centre or station, meaning residents aren’t able to get a space
“It gives one permit to every household, and a second one for visitors or another car, to make sure only residents are parking in the bays - it is entirely about helping residents.”
The parking permits are currently on a trial basis but anyone with any further questions are advised to contact CPM on 0845 463 5050.
For the full story see this week's Kentish Express - out tomorrow.