Southend parking permit holder forced to park miles away from home

A driver forced to park miles away from his home despite paying for a parking permit is threatening to take legal action.

Adam Circus paid £50 for a permit to park outside his home in Cashiobury Terrace, Southend, which is valid until September.

However, he has purchased a new car and must change the details on his current permit.

Adam Circus with his new car

Mr Circus, 49, was shocked to be told it would take more than two weeks to get a new permit and in the meantime he would have to find somewhere else to park or pay an hourly parking fee.

While his permit is being updated, Mr Circus has had to leave his car on his friend’s driveway in Shoebury and travel by public transport.

He said: “I have a valid permit which expires in September so I contacted the council and said I was changing my car on the Saturday. They said it takes 15 days to process so I asked what I should do in the meantime.

“They said I had two options. I could either park my car elsewhere or I could pay £1.20 an hour, which would cost me £186 for the 15 days, even though I’ve got a valid permit to park in my road.”

Mr Circus said he had since spoken to other residents who had experienced the same problem.

He added: “I wonder if people know the council are doing this widely to lots of people.

People are buying their permits then the council is turning round and saying you either park elsewhere or you can pay in addition to the permit.

“I’ve taken it up with my MP James Duddridge and a solicitor who said there is a legal recourse against the council. You can imagine the amount of money they are making out of this. In Westminster there is a 30-day leeway so why can’t Southend do that?”

Steven Wakefield, councillor responsible for highways, transport and parking, said: “The process of updating permits can take up to 15 days dependant on processing times and postal services, but we always try to do this quicker.

“In some instances, and dependant on the parking scheme in the area, residents may be able to utilise their visitor vouchers until their updated permit arrives.

“More information on parking permits can be found on the council’s website.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter