Parking company ‘handing out fines like confetti’ outside homes

Residents of a development near Brunel Way described feeling “intimidated” after parking patrols on their property up to three times a day led to guards “handing out fines like confetti”.

Simon, a resident of Paxton Drive, in Bedminster, told Bristol Live that on 26 September a new parking permit and zone system was introduced by property management company Remus, enforced by Link Parking Ltd. A £60 fine was issued in October (rising to £100 within 14 days) after parking in one of the site’s visitor bays.

Although other residents confirm they received letters notifying them of the new system, Simon claims that none of the 16 residents in his housing association building were notified and that their permits, one tenant and one visitor, were not issued to them before it went into effect. . He said: Everything is a complete mess; Nobody has any idea what’s going on, and nobody has any idea what the rules are.”

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Bella, a graduate student, says her home, located in a housing association building owned by Kuro, has been notified of the new rules, but has not yet received permits. She agrees that the rules are unclear and unnecessarily harsh, claiming she was given a ticket on Oct. 14 indicating her car was not parked within the confines of a side bay. Over the next 12 days, she allegedly tried to contact Link repeatedly.

Bella said: “I tried calling the number on the signs they have on the street and it just says this number doesn’t exist. So I went to their website and found another number and every time I tried I was told Link parking couldn’t answer My call… I left two or three messages, but no one called me back.

“I wanted them to explain to me over the phone the purpose of my ticket, but as I couldn’t contact them and didn’t have the extra £40 I felt I should pay them before the price went up.”

I’m struggling for money, not to mention the cost of living right now. This ticket caused me a lot of anxiety and inconvenience.”

Bella says her car was in an area where Koro residents are allowed to park and she believes she got the ticket because one of her tires was off the high bay area curb. But she insists her car didn’t cause any inconvenience. She said, “The rules given to us are poorly organized, and although they seemed clear at first, it seems that the ticket officer gives tickets to whomever he likes and does not consider the financial crisis the country is facing.”

She added, “Considering how many people live here, it’s absurd. It’s a very unfair system. In this time when everything is so expensive, they take as much money as they can.”

Parking has always been an issue for residents of the site. Paxton Drive is a private road flanked by several three to five storey residential blocks off the A370. Two of the buildings are owned by Curo, a not-for-profit housing association based in Bath, with mixed tenure, including tenants, co-ownership and social tenants. The management company responsible for the entire site is Remus.

While some people who live on Paxton Drive have designated parking spaces, others use non-housing association bays and general use visitor bays. According to some residents, the site’s proximity to the Ashton Gate stadium meant that on match days it could be overrun by football fans.

The Bristol Council Planning Committee’s 2021 report on the redevelopment of the former railway depot at Clanage Road Bristol, which will run parallel to Paxton Drive, noted that parking at the property was “problematic”, including “a highly parked area with cars parked in Footpaths force pedestrians and cyclists onto the road which is dangerous.”

At first, the car park was disorganized, but several years ago, Remus handed over the management of the car park to the new generation before switching to Link this year. Nicola, who doesn’t have her own parking space and has lived on Paxton Drive for more than a decade, said New Generation has issued her more than 30 tickets. However, she feels recent rule changes have made the situation worse than ever, and estimates that for her block of 30 apartments there are only 15 spaces for residents and ten spaces for visitors.

“I feel like I can’t go out in the evening,” Nicola said, “I feel like I have to get my car back here by five, or I can’t go anywhere. The other evening I came back at seven and had nowhere to park. I literally sat in my car.” With my daughter for an hour I think what can I do?

“I can’t go and park anywhere else because I don’t want to go back through the park in the dark. You can’t go out in the evening; I can’t even go back to my dad.”

Due to the location of Paxton Drive, situated between the A roads, Bedminster Cricket Club and Greyville Smith park, there are some alternative parking options closer on residential streets. Simon said he was concerned about his 21-year-old daughter having to walk in or around the park when she came home from college in the evening.

Bella said that because she didn’t get home from NHS work until after 7pm each night, she resorted to getting her mum to make her space to make sure she had a place to park. “I don’t feel safe as a 21-year-old female to park on a nearby street and have to walk in complete darkness to my house,” said Bella.

Once Curo became aware of the confusion over the new rules in late October, the company said it wrote to its residents to summarize Remus’ proposals and to help explain how they might be affected. Kuro says she then negotiated with Remus to delay the parking enforcement until November 28, when some apartments had not yet received all of their permits and to give residents time to better understand the new rules.

This was agreed upon by Remus on November 2, Koro says, and Koro notified its residents on November 4. And despite this, on November 11, Simon was again issued a ticket. He said that Link “puts out parking fee notices like confetti. Basically, they just don’t care about people; they make people’s lives miserable. We can’t even park outside our homes without the threat of getting tickets. It’s like we’re being bullied.”

Nicola managed to avoid being fined but said she regularly saw the warden who patrols Link in the wee hours throughout the period when fines were thought to be pending, sometimes as many as “three times a day”. With Curo’s help, Simon is now able to cancel his tickets, but he worries about what will happen once the official parking amnesty expires next week.

In response to our request for comment, Link said: “We didn’t put the rules into the development. We gave them to enforce. We are aware that many residents were parking multiple cars on the development when they only had one bay. This caused significant problems for other residents.”

“All visitor permits were issued to our client (Remus) several months before roll-out. Curo then chose to have completely different parking conditions for its residents, which led to more permits being issued.

“Patrols were not suspended until November 28, and if Kuru informs its residents of this, then they must correct their mistake. Some areas have been suspended.

“We are aware of one incorrectly issued charge, and when this was reported to us, it was immediately quashed. It is not difficult to contact us, and an appeal can be made online by filling out a form.

“Residents need to understand that they have the right to park one car but have chosen to have multiple vehicles. This is a problem they have created themselves and blocking other residents’ parking bays or parking in a way that restricts access across the development to others or emergency services is not acceptable.

In response to Link’s comments, Kuro said, “We have advised our residents at [16 of our flats] They had not received any visitor passes (from Remus), and so we requested that permits be issued to them and suspend parking enforcement until received.

Curo had no role in defining the terms of the new parking restrictions; this was determined by Remus and Link Parking.

Curo has been notified in writing by email from Remus of the suspension of the parking application through November 28. The suspension was to include all Housing Association spaces and all visitor spaces. Link Parking is also reproduced in this email.

“As a freehold owner of only two blocks in the development we have no control over the parking regulations at Paxton Drive as they are set by Remus, the managing agent. We have tried to do everything we can for our tenants by ensuring they have enough time to receive the correct permits they They are entitled to it and to ensure they fully understand the changes to the car parks.”

We reached out to Remus for comment, but they didn’t respond.

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