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Bexleyheath: New parking regulations "age discriminatory"

PUBLISHED: 12:08 25 August 2011 | UPDATED: 15:38 25 August 2011

A grandmother who discovered she could not park in her regular spot after a new pay by phone system was imposed claims the move is age discriminatory.

Catherine Trickett, 62, of Oakland Road, Bexleyheath, says she was amazed to find she needed a mobile phone to pay for parking in Lion Road, Bexleyheath, on Tuesday last week when she went to pick up some fish and chips for her lunch.

The new system was introduced last Monday. and is part of Bexley council’s strategy 2014 plans. Councillors say it aims to help save money by reducing cash collections from meters and maintenance costs.

Mrs Trickett said: “It’s blind ageism because there are quite a lot of people who don’t carry a mobile phone in my age group and if they do, they don’t know the number.

“I’m amazed the council have done this.

“If you’ve got a problem with your eyesight, you wouldn’t be able to read the signs either.

Warning

“In this current economic climate, there are people who don’t have a credit card and wouldn’t be able to pay for the service.”

Mrs Trickett believes that the changes were pushed through without prior warning from the council.

A council spokesman said that hundreds of leaflets were given out in Bexleyheath and Welling town centres in the week before the launch, telling people about the changes.

Cllr Peter Craske said: “The introduction of payment by phone has proved very successful.

“Almost 200 people signed up to use the service in the first three days alone, with many using the service again and again.

“Paying by phone is also cheaper for motorists as we have dropped the price from 80p for 30 minutes to just 50p for 30 minutes under the new system.

“Within a few minutes drive of Lion Road there are 370 car parking spaces available.”

Paying by phone is currently being used in 212 of the borough’s 3,500 parking spaces.

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