Anger over discounted parking permits for schools in Kensal Rise and Queen’s Park

L-R Diane Haynes, Fiona Mulaisho, Robin Sharp & Helen Durnford outside Manor school in Kensal Rise f

L-R Diane Haynes, Fiona Mulaisho, Robin Sharp & Helen Durnford outside Manor school in Kensal Rise fighting against parking permits for teachers as area already congested. Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas - Credit: Archant

Brent Council has been slammed for giving discounted parking permits to schools amid claims it leaves residents struggling to find spaces.

Kensal Rise Residents Association (KRRA) and Queens Park Residents Association (QPRA) are calling for the council to overturn a decision to give nine parking permits per school saying their neighbourhood is already congested with too many cars.

Under the new scheme if schools can demonstrate they have met the criteria of a travel plan, which promotes walking, cycling, and sustainable ways of travelling, they will qualify for the permits.

Fiona Mulaisho, chairwoman of KRRA, said: “There are 10 schools in the Queens Park area which has parking problems already. If the schools all meet the criteria and apply, that’s 90 spaces taken up.

“What they are going to do is compound the problem. They need to re-examine the affect it will have on residents, not go for this one size fits all approach.”

Diane Haynes, a member of QPRA, who lives on Winchester Avenue, added: “We’ve had this battle with the council for more than three years. Some of the teachers have full parking permits, meaning they can park anywhere, and they come and dump their cars for 12 hours a day outside our homes.

“My father-in-law is 80 and has to park so far away just to visit his grandchildren.

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“The reward for getting a gold travel plan is normally for the children, but they are rewarding the teachers instead with parking permits. It’s so perverse it’s mad.

Instead they should re-designate all those empty pay and display bays.”

Resident Helen Durnford said the distribution of permits took no account of school sizes or if it already has a car park.

She said: “We’ve been very patient up until now. The whole thing is the biggest, unethical mess.”

A spokeswoman for Brent Council said they were looking to reduce parking demand from school staff and parents while at the same time recruit staff with the new scheme beginning in the autumn.

She added: “Schools with the very highest level of success will be allowed to purchase up to nine permits, although we expect demand to only run at about half that level.

“In total 74 per cent of respondents to the recent parking consultation supported this scheme, which was endorsed by Brent’s Cabinet in June. The impact of the scheme will be reviewed in summer 2017.”