Brent Council admit new permit parking system is ‘not up to standard’

John Burslem, 64, waited three-and-a half-hours on the phone trying to buy visitor parking permits

John Burslem, 64, waited three-and-a half-hours on the phone trying to buy visitor parking permits (pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

Claim comes after pensioner left on the phone for three-and-a-half-hours

Council chiefs have admitted their new system to buy parking permits are ‘not up to standard’ after a second pensioner was left hanging on the phone while trying to buy one for a visitor.

John Burslem, of Purvis Road, Kensal Rise, was forced to endure a three-and-half-hour phone call to buy a permit leaving his visitor at the mercy of traffic wardens.

The 64-year-old, who does not have a computer or mobile phone, has accused Brent Council of ostracising older residents by implementing the new system that works immediately if used online or with a mobile phone.

He said visitors and repair people are refusing to enter his home because they are worried about the fines they could rack up while he is waiting on the phone.

He said: “I live in the area, I pay my rates, why shouldn’t I be able to have visitors? The council are ostracising me.

“I have a broken washing machine but the e engineer refused to enter my home without a permit

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“How can I have school chums visiting me, they won’t come.”

“A traffic warden could come at any time and he’s not going to believe me.”

His criticism comes a week after 79-year-old Diana New, of Linton Road, Queen’s Park, had to wait 20 minutes to buy a permit for her grandson.

She said: “It was just press one and press something else and we just went round and round in circles and got through to a phone that died and couldn’t be answered.

“Eventually we got through to a lady. By then 20 minutes had gone.”

A Brent Council spokesman issued an apology for the delays adding they had taken on additional staff to ensure calls were answered more quickly.

He added: “We are confident that customers will shortly notice a considerably improved service, which we acknowledge has not been up to standard. “People without internet or mobile phones should access the service simply by telephoning 020 8937 4972.

“In the case of visitor parking no deposit is required, although a minimum purchase of £10 applies.”

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