Online petition opposes scrapping of Brent Council’s £1-a-day visitor parking scratchcards

Cllr Paul Lorber holds up books of the visitor parking scratchcards

Cllr Paul Lorber holds up books of the visitor parking scratchcards - Credit: Archant

An online petition opposing the scrapping of the £1-a-day scratchcard scheme for visitors’ parking permits in Brent has been launched.

Under Brent Council’s new automated system, parking is £1 for only four hours and residents must book and pay for visitor parking online, by phone or text message each time a permit is required.

Brent’s Liberal Democrats, who have launched the petition as part of a drive to save the scratchcard scheme, claim the new system forces residents living in controlled parking zones to register in advance if they are expecting a visitor or delivery by car.

But a council spokesman said: “Customers have the option of booking visitor parking in advance or on a visitor’s arrival.”

The Lib Dems maintain scratchcards are easier to use for many elderly and disabled residents, more flexible when dealing with unexpected visits from family or tradespeople and less time consuming as a book of 20 tickets can be purchased at once, instead of making individual applications for each visit.

Lib Dem councillor Paul Lorber, of Sudbury ward, said: “Once again Labour is making life for residents more difficult and more expensive.

“This is another money grabbing measure which disregards the needs of local people.”

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Despite existing scratchcards being valid until October 31 and more than 8,000 permits already arranged during the first three months of the new system, Cllr Lorber added: “Banning scratchcards when the new system has not even bedded in is very unfair and a big mistake.”

Fellow Lib Dem councillor Mark Cummins, of Brondesbury Park ward, has received complaints from residents about the automated system.

He said: “It’s not realistic to assume residents will know the registration numbers of vans arriving several days later to deliver and install items such as washing machines or carpets.

“There are also problems if visitors arrive when the household’s nominated account holders are unavailable.”

The council spokesman said: “A vehicle registration number is required - but this was also needed under the old scratch card system.”

Charges for the permits will be addressed at an executive meeting of Brent Council on Monday.