‘Rigid and unjust permit system drives me crazy’ says Hitchin woman

Jo Loach with her parking permit

Jo Loach with her parking permit - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin woman is questioning the town’s ‘rigid, unjust and archaic’ perking permit system.

Jo Loach of Whinbush Road has received four parking fines from North Herts District Council during a two-year period, even though she has always held an up-to-date permit.

Jo said: “I feel unfairly treated because I have always held a valid parking permit which I have paid for – but I’ve been fined for instances of human error such as my permit falling off the dashboard, being partially obscured by supermarket parking vouchers, or having my permit expire while I have been on holiday.

“We live in an age where technological advances are such that police are able to instantly verify whether a vehicle has an up to date tax disc – and I feel the council is penalising residents of permit zones who have paid for their permits for the inequities of their out of date system to generate an unjust revenue.

“I contacted MP Peter Lilley who told me under the Traffic Management Act 2004 and in terms of Penalty Charge Notices the council has a set policy when dealing with such issues which prohibits MPs seeking to intervene. That begs the question: just who is willing to take responsibility for making the changes to administer this system in a fair and just manner which actually offers some protection to the permit holding residents of parking zone areas?”

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Councillor Julian Cunningham, who oversees the council’s transport portfolio, said: “The council is committed to giving residents priority for parking in streets where they live and those who live within a permit zone are entitled to apply for permits which they must display in their vehicle.

“Anyone not correctly displaying the permit is liable to receive a penalty charge notice and this complies with the Traffic Management Act 2004.”

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What do you think? Should the council upgrade its parking permit process in line with modern technology? Email your views to news@thecomet.net

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