Norwich residents take parking problems into their own hands

A Norwich community that has been fighting a long-running battle over parking permits has moved a step closer to success, after conducting their own traffic survey.

The issue of business parking permits being abused in Ashby Street, off Queens Road, Norwich was first raised by the group in 2004.

Becky Matthews has been leading the fight for the Ashby Street residents, handing in petitions to Norwich City Council in 2004 and 2006.

Miss Matthews returned to City Hall this week to speak at a meeting of the Norwich Highways Agency Committee (NHAC) - but this time she brought some fresh ammunition.

A thorough traffic survey of different car registrations and their permit numbers and what times they were parked on Ashby Street over the space of a week gave strength to their cause.

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What the survey shows is that the majority of these cars are abusing the business dispensation parking permits and parking on Ashby Street all day, some of them five days a week.

The street is one of the first to be in the city council's controlled parking zone outside of the city centre, making it one of the closest places to park for people working in the city.

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Dispensations are issued to businesses or organisations whose employees need continuous access to their vehicle, but the protest group say cars with the dispensation are using them for all-day parking.

This means that families who live in the short street are being forced to use the pay and display parking in Queen's Road or park in surrounding streets.

Miss Matthews told the NHAC: 'On the Norwich City Council website it states clearly that the business permits are not to be used for commuting, yet it is evident to the residents of the street that a large number of permits are being used this way.

'My question is what does the council propose to do to ensure permits are used legally?'

Fellow resident Peter Bradbrooke added: 'On any given day there are approximately 20-24 vehicles using business permits parked in Ashby Street/Kings Lane (the neighbouring street).

'Many of these vehicles are parked early morning and do not leave until the end of the working day, if this is not commuter parking, what is?'

Ward and divisional councillor for Town Close, Stephen Little, also spoke to back the calls and asked that NHAC review the situation once more.

As a result, committee members asked to be presented with a new report on the issue at a future meeting, with vice-chairman Bert Bremner saying he was 'most impressed' with the group's survey.

County councillor Richard Bearman added: 'Perhaps more can be done at renewal time for these permits to remind holders of the regulations and that, if necessary, these permits can be withdrawn.'

What do you think of parking problems around Norwich? Write to Evening News letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1JE or email

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