Vanisha Ramdhony, 31, lives in Darwin House on the Worcester Close estate and was outraged to find out earlier this year that residents from her block of flats would be banned from on-street parking.
After leaving their cars on the road overnight last month, some of them woke up to a £100 fine from Parking Control Management Ltd., who told the residents they would have to use the 12 bays owned by their housing association, Affinity Sutton.
She and her neighbours have been caught in a tug-of-war over the bays ever since, with tensions escalating as the residents of 53 properties across Darwin House and neighbouring Bodleian House, also owned by Affinity Sutton, struggle to find somewhere close by to park.Because parking 'close by' is one of those expectations people have.
Off-street parking can resolve this where there is an opportunity (and where there is one or two cars per household) but this is not practical for multi-occupancy dwellings.
Many residents have resorted to parking further away from their homes, not an ideal situation for those with young children, Ms Ramdhony says.
She told News Shopper: “Affinity Sutton’s slogan says ‘Helping people put down roots’.
“Does it look like in any way us residents will be able to live happily with this parking chaos hanging over our heads?
“There are 12 parking bays on the whole estate.”Hmmm, if I wanted to have three cars, but my driveway only holds two, would I:
a) settle for two,
b) move house, or
c) loudly demand that some of my neighbours give me space on their drives?
Obviously, option c) never crosses my mind. I wonder why the same cannot be said for those who dwell in 'social' housing (a strange name, as often the denizens are pretty anti-social)?
But this is the inevitable conflict provoked by councils pushing 'green' policies onto developers to restrict car usage by restricting parking.
Councillor Angela Wilkins told News Shopper that street parking is becoming a major issue locally, partly because the overground is being heavily used by commuters.
She said: “I am working with officers to try to address this - but the overriding problem is too many cars and not enough space.”
“If parking charges or residents' permit schemes are introduced the likely outcome is that the problem simply moves to neighbouring streets.”Those artist impressions on advertising for new builds showing everyone cycling and walking, ordering their shopping online or using the bus, are pipe dreams. People still cling to their cars, and will continue to do so, no matter what.