Motorists face long delays for parking permits in Uttlesford

UTTLESFORD motorists have waited more than three-and-a-half years for a resident’s parking permit in their area, a new study has revealed.

Research by LV= car insurance found that Uttlesford District Council is one of the worst offenders with a lengthiest waiting list.

The revelation comes as it was announced that the average amount of space for parking in residential areas in England has shrunk by 9 per cent over the past decade, despite the number of cars on our roads increasing by 15 per cent in the same period.

LV= said the average motorist has seen the space available for parking near their home decrease from 9.84m per car in 2001 to 8.97m in 2011. Yet the average car length has increased by about 15cm – to 4.3m.

London motorists are the most squeezed for parking. Westminster has the smallest amount of parking space, just 4.33m of space per car, which has shrunk by 21 per cent since 2001.

Outside of London, Harlow, Broxbourne, Slough, Watford and Stevenage have the least amount of resident parking space per vehicles.

The survey also showed that over a quarter of councils have increased the cost of residential parking permits since 2008. Some 9 per cent of car owners have to pay for the right to park their car outside their home, paying an average of �96 each year.

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The most expensive permits were in Birmingham (�785), Canterbury (�511) and Poole (�440)6, with residential parking permits netting councils more than �47.8 million in 2011 alone.

LV= said information obtained by a Freedom of information request found that eight councils admit residents have had to wait over a year for a parking permit in their area. In the Mid Devon District Council area, one motorist waited 2,920 days (eight years) for a parking permit. Other lengthy waits were in Canterbury (2,218 days), Bristol (1,765 days) and Uttlesford (1,335 days).

The insurance firm also said that a long wait for a permit, combined with a lack of parking spaces, is forcing some drivers to park illegally - one in 10 drivers say they have been forced to park illegally near their home because there wasn’t space for them, and around a third of these illegal parkers were fined as a result, paying an average of �92 each in fines.

LV= car insurance managing director John O’Roarke said: “Motorists are becoming increasingly squeezed when it comes to parking and in some areas the average space available is only a few centimetres longer than the average car.

“When space is particularly tight, drivers must take greater care when parking to avoid damaging their own car or those around them and risking expensive repairs or a claim against them.”