People on Nottingham street like 'sitting ducks' as parking fines issued amid permit delays

Becky Hackforth and Lucy Brine pictured in Ebers Road, Nottingham, pictured in the middle of the road looking into the camera
Becky Hackforth and Lucy Brine pictured in Ebers Road, Nottingham -Credit:Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post

People on a Nottingham street say they have felt like "sitting ducks" as parking fines have been issued amid delays in getting their permits. Residents of Ebers Road in Mapperley Park say they have waited as long as six weeks to get their parking permits through and that most are just starting to be issued now.

This is despite the deadline to apply for most having been April 1 and, whilst waiting for their permits, some have been issued fines. Nottingham City Council says that all residents are sent a reminder six weeks before their permit runs out, but many say that the system to apply for a permit was not working at that stage.

Becky Hackforth, 46, said: "You go to upload stuff and it shuts down and you have to start again. We're relatively intelligent people, my husband is actually an IT whizz so I left it to him but he came downstairs and was pulling his hair out.

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"There are elderly people on this road who are getting fined, some of them have carers and the carers are getting fined. People worry about this kind of stuff. You are like a sitting duck because you can't get a permit and there's been as many as three traffic wardens on the street at the same time."

Households on Ebers Road can apply for a maximum of three permits, with another one of those to have applied being 46-year-old Lucy Brine. Ms Brine said she applied on March 20 and has only just received her permits through the post.

The Ebers Road resident said that when permits were first introduced around six years ago, they were totally free, but the cost is now up to £85 for those applying for all three permits. Ms Brine also says that using the system is "frustrating" and that the Nottingham City Council help desk are only available from 10am until 2pm.

She added: "With a council that's just gone bankrupt, this is the best money making scheme ever - to put on a help desk that isn't helpful and a system that is difficult to navigate. It feels as though you need a PhD in parking husbandry or whatever you want to call it to use this system."

Ebers Road in Nottingham, with cars seen parked on either side
Ebers Road in Nottingham -Credit:Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post

A Nottingham City Council spokesperson said: "There have been some issues recently with the permit-processing system and wider capacity issues within the council department which handles applications, so there is currently a two to three-week turnaround time. This is a little longer than usual but we're confident the technical issues have now been resolved."

In terms of technical issues having been "resolved", residents say the system remains overly complex. Having first applied for a permit around April 1, Ms Hackforth has only just had a rejection through because of her company car.

She has therefore had to get a letter from her company saying she has permission to drive her company car. For the future, given that the permits must be renewed on a yearly basis, residents are calling for the online system to be made much simpler.

In the meantime, they are calling for all fines issued to residents whilst the delays have been ongoing to be cancelled. Nottingham City Council said the authority had been asked to have more visible traffic wardens on Ebers Road given apparent problems close to where it meets Mansfield Road.

On whether fines issued over April would be cancelled, a spokesperson for the council added: "There is also a process in place to challenge a PCN... where each appeal will be reviewed on its individual merits against all the mitigation provided."