A FORMER Jaguar Land Rover auditor carried out her own street parking audit to discover a newly approved Residents’ Parking Scheme in Coventry is no longer required.
Data used to approve a Residents’ Parking Scheme in Purefoy Road, Cheylesmore was 18-months out-of-date, does not accurately reflect the current street scene and goes against Coventry City Council’s own policy, claims annoyed property owner Hilary Bunn.
Residents had initially petitioned Coventry City Council for a scheme due to heavy parking believed to be caused by shoppers, university students and city centre office workers in 2018. It was approved by the Cabinet member for City Services Coun Patricia Hetherton on Wednesday October 21, although yet to come into force.
But Hilary, a Jaguar Land Rover auditor for 27 years who owns a house in Purefoy Road, claims the street scene has since changed so “dramatically” due to a decline in city centre shopping, students no longer living in the area and increased home working during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is no longer needed.
Coventry City Council’s Residents’ Parking Scheme aims to protect on-street parking spaces outside people’s houses, in areas where parking is limited, and problems are caused by parking by commuters and shoppers, as stated on the website. Under the current scheme residents buy a permit which is valid for two years – the council recently extended existing permits until Dec 31 2020 free of charge.
But Hilary says the only parking problems that do continue to persist in one small area of The Mount are not caused by commuters and shoppers – but residents in multi-occupancy houses.
The basis for her claims lies in her very own audit carried out over the last 12 months, as well as talking to residents. She first noticed a change to street parking in October 2019, undertook observational surveys from January to March this year and weekly street audits from April to October 2020.
She said: “Councillor Hetherton approved a Residents’ Parking Scheme for The Mount and Purefoy Road, using a Parking Survey carried out on May 7, 2019, which is 18 months out-of-date and does not reflect the street scene now. Street parking can change in less than three months.
“At the live-stream Council Meeting, which I was not able to speak at, Councillor Hetherton mentioned my audit and the fact that their data is out-of-date.
“The city centre side of The Mount has declining high volumes of street parking due to former rented student properties sold to owner occupiers and increased off-street parking.
“The opposite side of the road from the junction of Daventry Road, past Baron’s Field up to a disabled parking bay has less street parking and has reverted back to a normal street parking scene because of off-street parking at corner houses, mid-terraced properties and changing demographic housing patterns.
“We’ve also seen a decline in city shoppers with the closure in recent years of big department stores like the Co-op, British Home Stores and most recently, Ikea. Many people now shop online or go to out-of-town shopping centre.”
Hilary admitted that one small area of The Mount, on the corner of Purefoy Road and close to Queen Isabels Avenue, still suffers from heavy parking.
She said: “These are residents parking here who live in rented terraced multi occupancy houses, where there is more than one car assigned to a house.
“Residents are being deceived by representatives of Coventry City about who is parking on The Mount and at the top of Purefoy Road, and that a Residents’ Parking Scheme will get rid of the problem. There will still be heavy street parking as this is not caused by people coming into the area to park but by residents at multi-occupancy houses who live there.
“Residents think by having a Residents’ Parking Scheme they will reduce the heavy parking and be able to park outside their own homes – what deception, what deceit! Coventry City Council does not guarantee you a place to park your vehicle, it only gives you permission to do so, if a space is available, as described on Coventry City Council’s website.”
Hilary has objected to the scheme and written to council chief Martin Reeves to express her concerns.
The Observer is awaiting a comment from Coventry City Council.