THE PRIVATE company now manging residential parking permits has ‘made a mess of it’, says a driver still waiting for his new permit nearly two months after applying.
NSL, the company which took over on-street parking in early November, has been accused of mismanaging the renewals process, mislaying documents and not having a payment system in place.
Kew Road resident Paul Onyett said: “They’ve completely hashed up the process for parking renewal.
“When you do anything out of the ordinary, like changing your car or your address, they haven’t got a system in place. They just don’t know how to handle it.
“I uploaded my proof of address and ownership documents as instructed on their website, and a few weeks later I got a letter telling me they haven’t got my documents.
“They tell me that my parking permit is on the way, but at this point I still haven’t been asked for payment.”
He also criticised Rugby Borough Council – which used to run the service on behalf of Warwickshire County Council – for not informing residents in advance of the change-over.
He added: “Had I been contacted first about the new process, I would have filled in a simple transfer form, which would have been ok.”
County council transport spokesman Coun Peter Butlin said the contract with NSL offered significant benefits for the taxpayer, saving £500,000 a year.
He added: “To date, the council is happy with the performance of NSL but both parties, ourselves and NSL, accept that there will have been frustrations for a small minority of residents.
“We are working hard to address these as soon as possible and apologise to all residents who have been inconvenienced.
“These are still very early days in a large contract and transfers of this nature frequently bring teething problems. Once these issues have been ironed out, we look forward to the improvements that the contract will bring.”
Warwickshire County Council decided to outsource on-street parking management in a drive to save money.
The three district and borough councils – including Rugby’s – which previously ran the service on the county council’s behalf argued that they could have made overall savings of £320,000 a year.
A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “We endeavoured to keep residents informed about the changes at the earliest possible opportunity, once the information had been communicated to ourselves.
“We regret residents have not experienced the same level of service since the resident parking permit scheme transferred.”
NSL had not responded to repeated requests for comment when the Observer went to press.