Parking in Forest Hill: How Does Enforcement Work?

Given that there have been several threads about the lack of enforcement of parking infringements, I would like to invite any Councillor or Lewisham service manager, to explain to us here, how things work or how they are supposed to work.

There was a thread about an abandoned car on Dartmouth Road, that was not dealt with for several months, despite being left in a controlled - 30 minutes parking - zone.
There have been many reports about persistent pavement parking, in Dartmouth Road, and elsewhere. There are residents in Thorpewood Ave and elsewhere, who are being blocked by vehicles parked across their driveways.

I would appreciate having clarity about who is responsible for enforcement in these situations, and why it isn’t happening. Some clarity about the area of Council responsibility and police responsibility, would also be appreciated.


I did a FOI a while back (after realising my car parking permit expired 3 months before and I didn’t get ticketed). It turns out most streets in a parking enforcement zone get monitored once a week, some even less than that.
Considering the council is obliged to take the £100/car they take from residents + fines and use it for enforcement and road safety I’m going to say they don’t give a shit.


Checking your street every week is brilliant compared to school streets which are checked every 6-8 weeks and Dartmouth Road every 3 months.

I do get the impression Lewisham parking attendants have been asked to be lenient so you might have got 3 months grace on your permit while they give 10 minutes for most other infringements.

The contentious issue of parking over driveways on normal roads is subject to the most leniency, parking ticket only if requested by resident and car blocking access to public highway. Loads of exceptions biggest one being no offence if it is blocking access from public highway to your driveway. Benefits car owners who don’t use their car so a very green policy.

@Lesley Lewisham council is legally obliged to police the parking around Davids Road as they took money from the residents precisely for that reason.
My neighbour got precisely 1 days grace when he didn’t renew (he isn’t the best pleased with my 3 months grace!)
I know the parking on Dartmouth Road is bad and should be better monitored and sadly many people use Forest Hill as a place to park for free when they come into London.

Maybe we should vote in some decent people to do anything (sadly I don’t think any of the guys last time were worth a vote)

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@John_Wilson yes would agree about our councillors, the money might be better spent on a parking warden. Do we need 3 people from the same party to represent the same view and have the same response?

I think local councils have huge problems since the Austerity policy withdrew huge funding since 2010. It is very difficult for councils to do much to cover their responsibilities.
There are a couple of things which can be done. First, outsourcing has been a disaster and NSL simply do not do the job. Yesterday I watched an NSL person on his L-Plate scooter drive happily past the 30 or 40 cars ALL parked on the pavement in Willow Way. Pedestrians were giving way to others in places where only one person could pass.
Second, councils have to look at more imaginative ways of addressing issues. The Dartmouth Road, Davids Road or Willow Way parking could probably be solved by someone walking along the road sticking a note on every car saying pavement parking is illegal and next time a fine will be incurred, and then having a blitz over a few days. Once the practice changes it becomes not the done thing to park on the pavement, or across drives. Over a longer term some notices might be put on lampposts saying parking enforcement operating. Then the Council can take back control from NSL and do the job properly.

Finally, I think the Councillors do work hard, but the Austerity policy has been hugely destructive of local council finances and a number of councils have suffered huge financial difficulties (Councils under financial strain

@kipya, while your post makes some very good points, please kindly note the following from the FAQ:

  • The #local-politics category is for objective discussion of Council / GLA / Local Election matters etc.
  • We prefer that general/national political discussion takes place on websites elsewhere, as focusses on local conversation.

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OK. I’ve taken out any reference to stuff which might be considered too general, but I think that the general impacts on the local with Council budgets.
I guess that it is too simple to moan about councillors without considering the conditions under which they work. Criticism might be due, but some objectivity and context might be appropriate too. Councils are ‘ham-strung’ by huge budget cuts.
A question might be reasonably raised about imaginative and inexpensive strategies to deal with parking, and I think making some suggestions might be helpful too.

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Yes - that’s a better approach. We should work with the council to suggest how they might best use their budget.

Similarly the council must work with central government in a cooperative and non-partisan fashion (councillors are elected to work for us, not for their political party). There’s no point in having a council if they just spend their time scapegoating central government.

Can I suggest some unimaginative and inexpensive strategies?

Putting a parking ticket on a car is not that complicated.

NSL has been asked to do that job by the council so the council should manage them to do the job or find somebody who can. The council will get a percentage of all parking fines so it is in their interest to manage them correctly.

I understand it is a painful and thankless task managing a service but unfortunately somebody has to do it and it is reasonable to moan at our councillors about the council not doing its job.