Residents are outraged over the way a new parking system is enforced in Weymouth town centre.

Hundreds of residents packed in to the Park Centre to air their concerns over recent changes to the parking permit system in the Park District area brought in by Dorset County Council (DCC).

DCC handed over management of the service to MiPermit, a company which now issues ‘virtual’ permits which are processed online or over the phone.

These replace paper scratch card permits which used to be displayed in windscreens.

Now, angered residents think that enforcement is not carried out regularly enough, and that drivers are getting away with parking their cars without permits whilst residents with paid permits are forced to park streets away from their home.

The meeting was hosted by Waterside Weymouth Community Forum and led by county councillor for Weymouth town Dr Jon Orrell, who said he would compile resident’s feedback into a report which will be put to DCC. 

Many frustrated residents spoke out to say that virtual permits make it harder for wardens and residents themselves to police, with no immediate sign of who does or does not own a permit. 

Others detailed their confusion over the new process of applying for visitor permits online.

Resident and Waterside Forum committee member Dave Burchill said: “We set this up, and you never know how it’s going to go, but when you find you can’t get anybody else in the hall because it’s so busy, you know there’s a problem.

“In the evenings we can’t go out because we are worried if we move our car we won’t be able to get the space back.

“It has ruined our quality of life.”

One resident claimed to have ‘tested’ the level of enforcement in the area by parking her car on double yellow lines, alleging that she was not landed with a parking ticket until six weeks later.

She said: “Not having a scratch card is fine but why are paying for a permit if it’s not being enforced? The system doesn’t work. We don’t have a legal right to park on the road, but we pay for enforcement and we should get a refund for the days the wardens don’t come.”

Speaking after the meeting, Dr Orrell said: “The main point is that people want something visible in cars to make enforcement easier for traffic wardens and also for residents themselves so that they can report offenders. 

“It has been a valuable evening hearing the views of residents.”