30 October 2014

Parking Policy - Dear Mr Millard - #1

Following Mr Mustard's suggestion a number of residents wrote to Mr Millard, the Parking Improvement Policy Manager of Barnet Council, with their own parking policy ideas. Here is #1

Dear Mr Millard

Having read through your parking proposals I am writing to suggest that you talk with Mr Mustard since he is clearly in tune with the local residents of Barnet. I have read through his suggestions and he is most definitely 'putting the community first' which is what residents of Barnet want and your headed paper claim to do.

Since the parking system was introduced my visitors and I have been patronised and made to feel like:

liars - 'have you REALLY used up all your visitor vouchers? If you want more you'll have to POLITELY write in to ask very nicely for more’ - so you’re controlling how many friends, visitors and builders I’m allowed(?!)

cheats - visitors have incorrectly scratched the wrong day or date on their visitor voucher resulting in a fine

criminals - the carpenter who attended my house for many days once put the visitor voucher upside down on the stack of vouchers that he had law-abidingly used throughout his time working for us, Or the incident where the voucher for another builder fell on the floor of his car.

Not to mention the time when my mother stood on my doorstep to hand something to me saying 'no dear, I won't come in as I'm In a hurry' then turned around to see the parking attendant tapping into his machine. When I called the parking office and spoke to Christine I was told 'oh what a shame, why didn't your mother call you to tell you that she was coming, you could then have been standing on the roadside waiting with a ticket to hand over'!!!! I'm sure you will agree that this suggestion is quite ridiculous. I see that in your proposal there still is a zero minute wait time before issuing the ticket. Surely a few minutes grace is more realistic.

As a resident living near to Barnet hospital, who charged huge amounts for their visitors to use their car park, we could hardly ever park outside our own house. This was particularly difficult when returning home with bags of food shopping and 2 young children in tow. Since the hospital was not going to remove or reduce their charges we agreed to having parking restrictions put outside our house. This has resolved the problem, however now we live in fear of getting a parking ticket if we make one of the above errors. My friends and family can no longer call in for a couple of minutes to drop something off without needing a visitor voucher. Is this really how the system is supposed to work? For who’s benefit - I would suggest that this is not really putting the community first.

You may also wish to know that after waiting nearly 2 months for my parking permit to come through and chasing up the parking team several times, it turned out that my permit was sent to a random address in zone H (I’m in zone C). Justine was very helpful in eventually sorting this out (after others before failed). During this time my husband had received his permit straight away but after approx. 2 months received a PCN(!) It turned out that his permit was also printed with zone H on it although his one managed to be sent to our house. My husband spoke to the parking office who said that they’d resolve the problem and cancelled the PCN but when Justine phoned me back, the same day, in relation to my problem, I was told that both our vehicles were still registered against zone H(!). We have now both received the correct parking permits - Twice(!).

Finally, last week, I received a letter notifying me that a payment for visitor vouchers failed to go through due to a problem with your system. I am going to query whether this was a legitimate letter from yourselves as it suggested to make a bank transfer to a co-op bank account? With IP fraud around us I am concerned that possibly this was a scam letter as something did not feel right about the quality and style of the letter.

So there’s a brief summary of some of the problems I’ve had with your scheme and that I’d like you to take into consideration when visiting your new parking policy.

I do not tend to complain about anything however the headaches and trouble that this parking scheme has caused since it’s introduction is, quite frankly, time consuming, stressful and a nightmare! …but one that can easily be improved upon by genuinely “Putting the Community First”.

Thank-you for taking the time to read my email.

kindest regards

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