Today the Council has announced that its parking permits and vouchers are to be dematerialised from 6th April.
This will save the council money but it is not of obvious benefit to residents. In the matter of the widely abused service vouchers it will be a positive disbenefit. Residents will no longer be able to spot that business permit and service voucher users are clogging up their roads for commuting purposes. This problem is particularly acute in Zone W around the Councilâ€™s own Perceval House offices and in Zone JJ where social housing provider A2Dominion seems to enjoy protected status.
If you look at the councilâ€™s own figures the use of service vouchers has jumped by one third in only two years in spite of a 20% price increase. Every other category of permit or voucher is declining or stagnant. You can only conclude that these vouchers, which are widely abused by Council and A2Dominion staff, are priced wrong. Or something more distasteful is happening.
There is no way the economy has grown by one third to drive this increase. It isnâ€™t down to one third more people having tradespeople visit their homes in CPZs. It is a function of Council and A2Dominion staff circumventing the intention of CPZ which is to keep commuters out of residential areas. The word has got out amongst these workers that they can game the system. The Council must know from its own data that this is going on.
The move to dematerialise CPZ permits in April will make it hard for residents to spot that business permits and service vouchers are being used or abused. These permits should remain paper based until the Council can convince people it has got a grip on this issue.