A long-term Winnall resident has called for Winchester City Council to clamp down on parking permit abuse after describing the current situation as a ‘nightmare’.

Alice May, 68, who has lived in Winnall Manor Road for nearly 13 years, has said the number of residents flouting the rules and selling their visitors permits to workers from outside the estate has soared over the past few years.

She said she’s spotted postal workers parking streets away from the address they’re meant to be visiting for up to 12 hours at a time and has accused city council parking wardens of failing to properly check the vehicles of repeat offenders.

The council has said it regularly patrols the area and has issues a surplus of 83 penalties for contravention of parking regulations since the turn of the year, with a third of those being for Winnall Manor Road.

However, Ms May said more yet needs to be done to alleviate the problem. She said: “It’s an absolute nightmare. There’s not enough parking, anyway, let alone with people misusing permits. Most of them are postal workers and they will be parked there all day – some of them for 12 hours – on a visitors permit, nowhere near where the address is they’re supposed to be visiting.

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“I think the council just walk past, see a permit and don’t think to check it properly. If the traffic wardens spent a bit more time actually reading the permits, they’d see for themselves. They’re not fit for purpose – as long as they see a permit from 20 feet away, they don’t check it out.

Ms May, who used to deliver care herself, has said home carers are also abusing council supplied parking exemption letters to leave their cars on the estate.

“Carrying out care doesn’t take eight or nine hours a day,” she said.

“It’s going to be worse once they’ve finished building these flats. If you go out anywhere, you’re taking a chance on whether you can park near where you live. We pay a lot of money for these permits, and what do we get in return?

“It just feels like they’re making money out of everything. I’ve been in touch with the council several times and they’re just not interested.”

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The first annual permit of any type costs £50, with an additional annual permit priced at £70.

Councillor Kathleen Becker, who represents the St Bartholomew ward, said: “This is an issue we’re seeing across the city. Everyone has a car and very few houses have off-street parking in an historic area like Winchester. It is something we are aware of, and officers do their best to enforce the permit system that we have. Enforcement officers are out and about, and they are issuing tickets where they see the permit system being abused.

“Where it is reported the enforcement officers do go out and check. They also keep a record of patterns, so where they notice a permit is being used in a wrong location, they do contact the permit holder and question what is going on.”

A Winchester City Council spokesperson said: “We regularly patrol our parking zones across the district and investigate any reports of parking violations received. Since January 1 we have issued 83 penalties for contravention of parking regulations (PCNs) in the Winnall area, with over a third of those being for Winnall Manor Road. We will now particularly monitor the use of Care Provider Exemption letters for providers situated in Winnall and encourage local residents who believe permit misuse to be taking place to report it to us by parking@winchester.gov.uk.”

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Kimberley Barber