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New Permit Parking Areas in Gravesend, causes anger among residents

By Chris Hunter

Residents have slammed new permit-based parking restrictions, saying council parking wardens have targeted their road before permits have been issued.

Gravesend's new Permit Parking Areas (PPA's) came into effect on May 13 - and around 4,000 residents living in the affected zones were warned in February they would need to apply for permits.

But some say they have been waiting weeks to hear back from the council after applying, and are now receiving tickets on their vehicles.

WATCH: Residents outraged by controversial fines

Among them is Mark Bruce, of Woodfield Avenue, who was furious after his van was ticketed last week.

"Most people have paid for these permits but the council have taken over a month to issue them," he said.

"They're now patrolling the street with traffic wardens - there was a warden outside yesterday and he's put a ticket on my van - I'm still waiting for the permit.

"While I've been writing to them about it another warden has come along and put a ticket on my van.

Mark Bruce, Sarah Cox and Somphon Bates are angry about new parking restrictions
Mark Bruce, Sarah Cox and Somphon Bates are angry about new parking restrictions

"The warden said he's been told to patrol - I told him all the permits haven't been issued and he said 'it's not my problem'.

"The fact they're patrolling on an afternoon is insane anyway because there's never been a problem during the day.

"This warden yesterday had the audacity to say 'where's your permit?' I said I paid for it last month. I can't repeat what I said to them.

Penalty notices and letters sent to residents n Woodfield Avenue
Penalty notices and letters sent to residents n Woodfield Avenue

"It's just the attitude - 'it's not my problem, I'm just doing what I've been told'."

Sarah Cox, also of Woodfield Avenue, said workers in shops around the corner had been given permits before residents and were now parking in the road, adding:

"On Monday morning a warden came down - half the neighbourhood haven't got their permits yet and the traffic wardens have been whacking tickets on them.

"They were slapping tickets at 7am

"I'm furious. They should have solved the problem by now - not letting people who work around the corner park here.

"They need to come out and sort it out."

John Burden, Leader of the Gravesham Council said residents that live within PPA zones were sent letters on February 25 advising them that they would need new permits as the old Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) permits would not be valid from May 13.

"Half the neighbourhood haven't got their permits yet and the traffic wardens have been whacking tickets on them" - Sarah Cox

He added: “The letter of February 25 explained residents would need to apply for permits before May 3 2019 or they may not receive their PPA permit in time for the scheme start date of 13 May.

"Whilst we received over a thousand applications from residents after the specified date, to help residents we made the decision to postpone enforcement until June 1 when all of the applications that had been received with the correct proof of residency and vehicle ownership had been processed and posted to residents.

“The Civil Enforcement Officers have been enforcing the scheme from June 1 and have found there have been some residents that have still not applied for the new permits.

"Although we still have some applications outstanding where residents have failed to send in the required documentation, we have contacted these residents to make them aware we cannot process their applications until their documents have been received.

“In terms of enforcement the officers will only enforce for ‘No Valid Permits’ during the restricted time, which for Woodfield Avenue is Mon-Fri 1pm – 2pm, but CEO’s will enforce other restrictions such as double yellow lines at all times of the day.”

The council confirmed those who had applied for a permit and get a parking ticket in the meantime can appeal and will not have to pay the fine.

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

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