Romford action group angry as Havering Council issues parking tickets for residents ‘parked outside own homes’

A Romford residents’ group has criticised Havering Council for ticketing car owners parked legally outside their own houses.

Rom Way Action Group, which represents about 25 local householders, contacted the Recorder to say a number of its members had been given parking fines without warning.

They included the group’s secretary Ruby Milton, who said she had been given four tickets for parking outside her own Rom Crescent house, and Jackie Watts, who said she was given a ticket after her disabled sister Maureen parked outside her house with permission.

“One of my neighbours spoke to the driver in the camera car,” said Ms Milton, 65. “She said: ‘This is my car – I live here.’

“The warden said: ‘Tough – you’ve got a ticket anyway.’

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“It’s absolutely absurd.”

The row began after residents complained that staff from the nearby Queen’s Hospital were using the area as a car park – blocking driveways and causing traffic problems.

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In an e-mail to the group seen by the Recorder, a parking officer confirmed it was legal for residents to park across their own driveways - but said there was no legal requirement for the council to notify residents in advance of enforcement as it could mean potential offenders avoiding the area, “only to return when they feel safe”.

She added the council had designated the cul-de-sacs as a “special enforcement area” following “almost daily” complaints about Queen’s Hospital staff parking in the surrounding roads.

In an e-mail to the council, Ms Milton conceded: “We are totally fed up with the hospital staff using our streets as a car park.”

But she added: “That does not make it right that the council should penalise residents.”

Havering’s environment boss Cllr Barry Tebbutt said: “There have been parking problems in the roads near to the local hospital. We have stepped up our enforcement so that residents can park safely and traffic keep moving, but we will use common sense when issuing tickets and of course there is an appeal process.

“We are currently reviewing a number of schemes to address parking in that area.”

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