The growing parking crisis in Hammersmith & Fulham took a new development this week, as the Labour Council announced it is replacing the smart visitor permit (SVP) with a new resident visitor permit (RVP) - but seemingly without automatically refunding the money residents have invested in the old permits.
Many furious residents have contacted Chelsea & Fulham MP, Greg Hands, about the proposals.
Residents already concerned about the possible loss of £23million in parking revenue as a result of the fiasco over the Council’s replacement of old parking meters, which do not take “new” £1 coins, with new parking meters, which do not take old £1 coins, are now confused by the bizarre phasing out of electronic residents parking permits in favour of paper ones.
The changes - and resulting chaos - have been featured across national media in recent weeks.
On the new visitor permits, one resident has voiced his concern about the possible loss of their own funds, commenting: “Also, from your website advice to use up any credit on our SVP prior to 1st May, are you telling us that any credit will be lost…..that it can’t transferred to a RVP …… and that it will “disappear” into the Council coffers??? To say that I consider this unacceptable is putting it mildly!”
The Council claims that its new system “will be more convenient to use”, but long-suffering local residents have already pointed to how Labour H&F’s change could have an impact on certain groups in particular, with one resident commenting: “It defies belief that they haven't thought about those who don't have a smartphone or a computer - this will be mainly the elderly who rely on friends and family coming to visit them.”
In response to these further concerns, Greg Hands MP commented: “It absolutely beggars belief that Labour H&F seem to be compounding their incompetence, at the same time as their faltering replacement of parking meters, by replacing the current smart visitor permit with a new resident visitor permit. You know things are going wrong when local residents are worrying that their own funds might be automatically lost to Council coffers.
“What’s more, the Council’s automatic response via email draws attention to the “large volume of correspondence” they are getting with regard to Penalty Charge Notices. It’s no wonder that lots of people are disputing PCNs as a result of Labour H&F’s parking chaos.
"It’s time for someone in Hammersmith & Fulham Council to take responsibility for this growing parking fiasco and either sort it out or resign”.