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Residents’ petition over ‘unfair’ Woodford Green parking scheme to go before Redbridge Council

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:49 20 June 2017

Cars parked in Chigwell Road, residents want to have access to 30 minutes of free parking without using a mobile phone application, like the rest of the borough. Picture: Steve Poston

Cars parked in Chigwell Road, residents want to have access to 30 minutes of free parking without using a mobile phone application, like the rest of the borough. Picture: Steve Poston

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A petition calling for fairer parking at bays that require users to use a mobile phone service is to be debated by Redbridge Council after amassing a staggering 1,582 signatures.

Created by concerned residents and shop keepers, the petition argues that it is unfair that parking bays in Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, currently have no way for drivers to access free parking unless they use Ringo – a service they would need a mobile phone to be able to use.

Received by the council in February, it reads: “We the undersigned want to be treated as are Snakes Lane shop keepers and shoppers; as are Barkingside High Street shop keepers and shoppers; if the meters are to remain we want to be able to press the green button for free 30 minutes parkingbut ideally we want to go back to no meters as is Manford Way, Chigwell.”

Conservative group leader, Cllr Paul Canal, will also be placing a motion before the council when the issue is discussed at Thursday night’s full council meeting at Redbridge Town Hall.

It calls on the council to note the petition “presented by aggrieved residents and shopkeepers” and calls for the council to commit itself to fairness when it comes to parking across Redbridge and refuse to “discriminate against Woodford Bridge residents, visitors and businesses in this way”.

If agreed, the motion would also see the council commit to providing ticketed parking at the Chigwell Road bays as soon as possible.

But a council spokesman said parking in Chigwell Road was an historic problem that first came to light during a consultation in October 2014.

He continued: “Throughout the borough there is a free 30 minute parking session available in short term on-street parking bays.

“Unfortunately there is abuse of the existing pay & display arrangement, whereby users are known to repeatedly return to their vehicles and press the green button on the pay and display machines in order to obtain free parking for stays in excess of 30 minutes.

“As part of the Woodford Bridge experiment the 30 minute free parking session is only available by using the pay by phone facility as this restricts users from being able to book additional free sessions one after another.”

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