Page last updated at 19:18 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 20:18 UK

Residents' bays available to all

Westminster parking sign
Visitors can now pay to park in bays previously kept for residents

Motorists living in a London borough are angry after the council changed parking rules to allow drivers to pay and display in residents' bays.

Westminster Council has decided to allow non-residents to use residents' bays between 1000 BST and 1600 BST.

It says it will allow guests of people living in the area to visit at a time when residents' bays are little used.

But the bays have instantly become full during the day - and critics said it was just a way of raising more money.

When BBC News visited St John's Wood, Westminster, at 1000 BST all the new converted bays were full.

Sylvia Salvendy, a mother of young children who lives in the area, said the change meant she had nowhere to park when she returns from the school run.

Ms Salvendy said: "Sometimes I have to park miles away - it is a 10-minute walk [to get back to my house].

"When you have shopping it's not easy."

'Not needed'

She added: "You might double park to get the shopping in and then you have a traffic warden breathing down your neck."

Paul Pearson, a parking campaigner, said: "They already take in millions from residents who pay to park in parking bays.

"Now they are allowing anyone in the world to park in their bays - so long as they pay Westminster, of course."

Westminster Council's parking manager Kieran Fitsall said: "We have 500 bays which we are offering up.

"They are not needed as much during the off-peak times in the day when visitors are coming in - and residents are often not using their cars."

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