COMPLAINTS have been made over electronic parking permits by people who say they are making it difficult to enforce resident-only zones.

Residents of Victoria Embankment in Darlington are angry because non-residents have been parking on the street, making it difficult to find a spot.

E-permits were introduced in May so rather than having to display a permit on the car, an electronic version is used instead.

Since then residents have complained this makes it too easy for members of the public to park their cars on the street.

The Northern Echo: Residents of Victoria Embankment find it hard to park outside their own housesResidents of Victoria Embankment find it hard to park outside their own houses

One resident said parking has been a problem since she moved to the street four years ago.

She wished to remain anonymous but said: “It’s a narrow street so it’s difficult for residents to park at the best of times but with members of the public who park outside our houses to go to work or to go shopping, it’s just not fair.

“It’s getting ridiculous now. Why should I have to park my car away from my house when I pay £40 a year to do so. £40 might not be a lot but it’s the principle.

“Sometimes I finish work at 2am. I shouldn’t have to park my car a ten minute walk away. It’s just not safe.”

Read more: Are these some of the worst parking fails in the North-East?

A Darlington Borough Council spokesman said: "There has been a period of resurfacing work recently meaning enforcement could not take place during that time, however this work is now complete and officers can enforce once more and will do so.

“We have also recently upgraded parking software and introduced a virtual permit system. This enables officers to check whether a vehicle has a valid permit on their handheld devices.”

Read more: Teachers confronted and 'intimidated' after parking on public street outside school

Park East ward representative, Cllr Cyndi Hughes said: “Following complaints from residents, I spoke with council officers who assured me that digital data on which cars have e-permits is available to wardens when they’re on their rounds.

“Wardens are thin on the ground and now residents are unable to telephone for enforcement because they are unsure as to whether a car that they don’t recognise has a valid residents’ permit or not. I do think residents have a valid point when they say they're paying for parking permits and getting little benefit. I would support their call to be compensated for periods when parking restrictions do not apply.”


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