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Greenwich Council to finally act on parking problems on estates?

A notice has popped up on Greenwich Council’s website which suggests the authority will finally look into long term parking problems across many estates.

Parking on pavement and greenery is rife across many areas of the borough, with parking outsourced to a private company named Wings – who appear to do little. That contract was renewed in 2018 despite numerous failings.

Common in many parts of the borough – wheelchair users suffer

The contract ensures every penny of revenue from fines is retained by the private company, though doesn’t appear to incentivise enforcement.

Privatised parking enforcement

In certain areas of the borough responsibility covers vast areas and parking is pretty much a free for all – though the Housing Department sticks up endless street clutter almost at random in a poor attempt to alleviate the problem which achieves little and costs large sums of money.

Bollards a poor substitute for enforcement

One key issue that immediately stands out is once again estate consultation ignores many residents and private tenants who are now a substantial amount of the population. On the very same webpage stating parking will be looked into and ignores private renters there is this:

Ignoring this key demographic makes little sense. Across the country, those in the private rented sector “increased from 2.8 million in 2007 to 4.5 million in 2017, an increase of 1.7 million (63%).” And that’s nationwide, it’s almost certainly higher as a percentage in London boroughs such as Greenwich.

I was contacted previously by a disabled resident in Abbey Wood who had continual problems with a footpath near their home blocked daily by poor parking.

Abbey Wood estate. Bollard doing little

They contacted the authority who only wrote to council tenants about parking on paving – despite the immediate area now being 75% privately owned (it’s possible to tell by roofing work carried out under the Decent Homes program).

The majority of people were either freeholders or private tenants and not Greenwich tenants and leaseholders.

Parking in a Wings area

This is a continual problem in the borough and fails to recognise the changing tenure mix across much of the borough in 2020. Instead they often behave as if Right to Buy never happened which in turn saw many homes purchased via Right to Buy becoming buy to let with private tenants.

Unless the consultation actually engages with all residents on estates and shopping parades (many of which fall under the same remit) it won’t be very representative.

The number of children in London living in the private rented sector increased from 190k in 2005 to 550k in 2018.

My view is that some parts of the borough still maintained by Greenwich Council’s Housing Department should be transferred to the Highways Department with enforcement moved from private Wings Security to Greenwich Council’s standard enforcement teams alongside staff increases.

Often there is no difference now in terms of tenure or design layout in Housing Department controlled locations and areas under Highways Department control. Things have changed a huge amount since the 1980s but jurisdiction has not. It also removes the legal issue whereby public estates are classed as private land which can impact enforcement.

For other areas of public realm and streets that do remain under the Housing Department, a new contract is needed rather than the current Wings Security deal which has been an utter failure in preventing poor parking and assisting  pedestrians, particular the most vulnerable including the disabled. Hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on ever increasing clutter is not the solution.

 

16 Comments

  1. james ross

    social housing landlords should also look at LFB access onto estates SE18 4JY

  2. Roy

    Call me naive but I don’t understand a Parking Contract where Wings keeps all the Revenue.
    All Parking Restrictions are Council Applied and should be Council enforced…rigidly….
    I have a Council garage and people are parking in front of it endlessly even though it has a dropped kerb

    I still remember being fined from parking next to a dropped kerb when the dropped portion was next to a wall…hmmm…in Bexleyheath

    I still remember parking all over Southwark as part of my job and within 2 minutes of parking a scooter was next to your car checking on you

    I also remember delaying by 2 minutes returning to my car as it was a torrential downpour and receiving a parking ticket cos I was 2 minutes late on the parking meter

    • Rosanna

      Its the same on my road. We have dropped kerbs with a garage other residents who don’t have garages park in front of ours and we get the tickets because so many selfish people who don’t give a rats arse if they are blocking someone’s garage. Its infuriating. 🤬😡

  3. Ashley

    Parking in the Borough is ludicrous, no strong leadership nor direction. Who awards contracts with No means of revenue? A Borough wide strategy to combat illegal parking, obstruction and abandoned vehicles must happen. If you managed this process rigorously in the first place you wouldn’t have half the problems you see on our roads daily. A stronger presence is needed NOW. If any other London Borough can do it, why can’t Greenwich. Labour failings again! No interest whatsoever. Nothing will change under this administration.

    Streghtened enforcement and clear action is wanted on all public roads and estates.

    This will bring significant revenue to rejuvenate our neglected and outdated public realm.

    • Kevin

      @ Ashley, Sir Keir Starmer was on prime ministers question time earlier this week accusing the Government of wasting public money as it is their own,

      He needs to visit Danny Thorpe and the current Labour Administration on Greenwich Council to have this conversation with them that is public money that they are also wasting engaging contractors like those responsible for parking enforcement in the Borough which provides no results or revenue for the Council.

  4. Good luck with this. While they allow the gi-normous Tesco lorry to block the only westbound lane in Trafalgar Road each day (buses especially have great fun trying to pass) they won’t be able to deal with crap parking on multiple housing estates.

  5. Ill-legal street parking should not be tolerated. There is no need for a consultation.

    • patricia wheeler

      I live in Halsbrook Road, and the way some people park is abismal. Pedestrians find it difficult to walk along the path and have to walk in the road because of cars parked on the pavement. Also, it’s a 20mph zone in our road, but drivers still come along at about 60-70mph, no chance of survival for a pedestrian 😔

      • CDT

        @patrica wheeler I feel for you pavement parking on the Brook Estate is notorious with pavement parking all over the estate blocking pavements for residents who are often forced in to the road to get passed the parked cars,

        I really feel for the elderly disabled residents some in wheelchairs or partially sighted along with parents with young children and buggies that are often forced in to the road to pass cars parked on the pavement. As Patricia mentioned many drivers often drive at speed around the estate.

        It does not matter if residents are freeholders, leaseholders private or social housing tenants they do not own the pavements or roads outside of their homes.

        I agree with anonymous201481 Illegal street parking should not be tolerated. There is no need for a consultation. The Council should have been tackling this for years with revenue going back in to Councils budgets to help maintain front line services.

  6. John Carlsen

    I have asked GREENWICH PARKING SERVICES 3 times by E/Mail without reply regarding illegal parking on single yellow lines on the junction of BOSTAL HILL and BASTION ROAD.I have requested that this junction be changed to DOUBLE YELLOW LINES and constantly controlled..Cars are regularly illegally parking right up to the junction causing a blockage into the mouth of the junction
    THIS IS A ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN.

  7. Rosanna

    I live on Woolwich Common the parking on my street is ridiculous. My property as well as others have dropped Kerbs with a garage and 27/7 people who do not live on our street park in front of our garages. I have complained to my local councillors and tenancy officer regarding this matter and have recently discovered our street is under the jurisdiction of Highways…although my road has no through access, does not join any traffic and has private garages, available parking only on one side of the road. These properties were built in 1980. The joke is people who live on the road end up with the parking tickets while we stand there looking at our dropped kerbs and garages that we can’t access as some people can’t be bothered to drive round to the front of their property and park. I have challenged the status of our road and am awaiting to hear from the MP. Some idiot 40 years ago decided that it would be funny to hand this road to ‘highways’ the dustbin lorry just about fits the width of the road!!!!!! It just baffles me when I consider the brain capacity of the people who make these decisions. 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️🙄🙄🤬😡

  8. The amount of revenue councils could get from parking violations outstrips the cost of hiring or out-sourcing enforcement officers. My road in Lee is close to the station and commuters/holidaymakers use it for all day free and/or long stay parking. There is a car across the road from me that has been there for about six weeks. I have written to my ward councillor about the possibility of controlled parking and, apparently, there should have been a consultation this year but the pandemic interferred with this.

  9. CDT

    Consultations can be done on line so I am surprised that Lewisham Council did not opt do this?

    The car that as been parked for 6 weeks should be towed away as may have been dumped,

    This not fair on the residents that live on these streets. My road also suffers with cars parking a cross drives and where kerbs have been cut out. More does need to be done with regard to parking enforcement;

    • ‘The car that as been parked for 6 weeks should be towed away as may have been dumped’

      I have reported long term parking in the past and was told that so long as the vehicle is taxed, there is nothing to be done. There is, however, another car further along the road with no number plate. Pretty sure this is not compliant.

  10. Kevin

    Sir Keir Starmer in prime minister’s question time was talking about private contracts being issued by the Government to deal with Covid-19 which are a waste of public money stating this is public money not the Governments well this also applies to Councils !!

    He needs to take a closer look at Labour Controlled Councils who are notorious for this talk about the pot calling the kettle black.He should start with the shambles that is the Labour Administration on the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

    He needs to start with the contract for parking enforcement which has cost Greenwich Council millions of pounds in uncollected revenue which could have been spent on vital front line services including schools social services and care for vulnerable residents.

    How can you have a private contractor working for the Council who has a really bad performance rate in issuing tickets and collecting revenue from issued tickets for parking enforcement offences,

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