Complaint over reserved council parking spaces in controlled zones

PUBLISHED: 10:05 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

EXCLUSIVE parking spaces in residential streets near St Albans city centre are unfairly allocated, according to resident Cullum Giles. Mr Giles can rarely find a free space near his home in Albert Street because many in the area are reserved for council

EXCLUSIVE parking spaces in residential streets near St Albans city centre are unfairly allocated, according to resident Cullum Giles.

Mr Giles can rarely find a free space near his home in Albert Street because many in the area are reserved for council residents.

Mr Giles, who has lived in his privately-owned house for six years, decided to lodge his complaint after receiving the district council's parking survey.

St Albans city centre is divided into 17 controlled parking zones (CPZs) and Albert Street, Pearces Walk and Pageant Road together form Zone M. Despite the fact that a guaranteed parking space is not included in the tenancy agreement for St Albans council houses, there are 10 spots reserved for the 12 council-housed residents in Zone M.

Mr Giles believes the preferential treatment is unfair. He said: "It seems preposterous that the council decided to grant exclusive parking rights in the first place. Why should one group of residents have greater rights than another?"

He added: "Mine isn't an attack on those residents who have been allocated all those spaces but simply an attack on a blatantly unfair and unequal system. Sometimes there are even free spaces in the small Pearce's Walk car park and I'm not even allowed to use them."

The results of the CPZ survey will be used in a review of on-street parking services and Mr Giles urged residents of Zone M to add their comments to the survey: "Everyone will be familiar with the nightly routine of driving around the streets in the vain hope of finding a space in our zone, and I encourage them to make their feelings known on the parking survey," he said.

He claimed that even some of the council properties in Zone M that had been brought by the occupiers or sold into the private market had retained their exclusive parking space, instead of relinquishing the spaces for all other residents to share.

Steve Deakin, parking contract manager for St Albans, said that the exclusive council spots were dotted all over the city centre. "The district council does own land and leases spaces in St Albans but only in very few areas. It's there that you will find small, exclusive car parks such as Pearce's Walk."

Other sites affected include Bedford Road, Liverpool Road, New Kent Road and Adelaide Street.

Portfolio holder for Planning and Conservation Cllr Chris Brazier added: "I don't think the allocation of spaces is unfair; it's just a difficult situation. The council only owns pockets of land and it can't provide parking spaces for everyone."

The CPZ survey is going to more than 11,000 homes and the responses will help determine any changes in the council's future plans for parking in the city centre.

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