Problems with new virtual permit system force residents to park on neighbours' driveways
Frustrated Bucks residents have been forced to park on neighbour’s driveways to avoid being slapped with a fine after a new virtual permit system was rolled out across the county.
The new permits for on-street parking were launched at the end of October – however residents say the new system has caused chaos as they continue to struggle to book one online.
High Wycombe resident and IT consultant, Jonathan Heard, branded the system “unprofessional and basic” and questioned if any tests were been carried out before it went live.
He said he was met with an error message when attempting to book two permits for visitors, so was forced park on neighbours’ driveways to avoid a ticket – as the phone helpline provided on the BCC’s website was closed.
Mr Heard said: “I’m deeply concerned that the council has signed up to, yet another, system which is not fit for purpose, most likely at an eye-watering cost to the taxpayer.
“This year, the prices for parking permits has risen sharply too, yet we are now getting a worse service for that price.
“Aside from the technical problems, this system represents a significant change in the process of permitting a visitor to park.
“In our case we have a lot of trade people coming and going, we also have a newborn baby and two other children.
“Formerly, my wife or I would simply hand a permit to the visitor who would then duly complete it and display it.
“On a typical morning I’m likely to have left for work leaving my wife to single-handedly get two children ready for school whilst feeding a baby.
“She simply does not have time to be getting out her laptop to log in to the parking system and enter the visitor’s details – even with the new ability to enter details in advance we often don’t know for certain which vehicles will need to park until they arrive.”
BCC admitted there have been “a few teething problems” with the new system however it has worked together with contractors NSL to “resolve most of these quickly”.
Spokesman for BCC, Florence Matthews, said: “We have been able to deal with the vast majority of concerns satisfactorily and customers have told us they are pleased with the new system and how it works. It offers many benefits from the previous paper based system.
“The NSL phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and there is an out of hours line too.
“Failing this, customers can also get in touch via email. We appreciate that when the system first went live, the phone lines were very busy.
“We have received no complaints regarding visitor permits or customers still receiving tickets once paying for an online permit.
“Once virtual permits are applied for, they become live within a maximum of two minutes.”
Anyone experiencing any issues with the system is asked to call NSL on 0343 208 5544 or email email@example.com
Bucks Free Press
Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times
Bucks Free Press
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