City clamps down on Kenilworth parking hogs

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Motorists who hog parking bays for longer than two hours in Kenilworth’s business district can now be fined and have their vehicles’ wheels clamped.

The City’s new parking marshalls, who started working in Main Road, Kenilworth, at the beginning of the month, have met with a generally favourable response from businesses in the area, but not everyone is happy.

The new marshalls can also be found in De Waterkant and Kloof Street in Gardens.

The system limits motorists to parking for no more than two hours in a bay to make it easier to find off-street parking close to businesses, according to Rob Quintas, mayoral committee member for urban mobility.

“Many businesses that depend on walk-in trade will also benefit as customers will find it easier to find on-street parking seeing that parking management is a deterrent for the illegal occupation of on-street parking bays for hours on end,” he said.

The parking marshalls will charge R3.40 for 15 minutes, which can be paid by using cash, credit cards, debit cards or Snapscan.

They will be on patrol from Monday to Friday, from 8am to 5pm, and on Saturdays, from 8am to 1pm.

Motorists would be expected to pay upfront so that they did not drive away without paying the marshall, said Mr Quintas.

“We have to make sure that motorists pay for using parking bays and comply with the time restrictions.”

Motorists who repeatedly tried to avoid paying or refused to pay would have their vehicles’ wheels clamped, he said.

“The time limit is two hours. Those contravening the limit will get their vehicles clamped for continuous non-payment and evading of the parking marshall.

“Law Enforcement and traffic services may issue fines to such repeat offenders. Fines for parking violations range between R300 and R1 000, depending on the violation.”

Caesar Bakari, who owns a laundromat in Mains Avenue, said the marshalls would be an improvement on the informal car guards who could sometimes be “demanding”.

“With the parking marshalls, if anything happens in your vehicle, we would know where to go to complain,” he said.

Kathy Sullivan, who owns a bookshop in Main Road, also praised the new system.

“We previously had unofficial car guards, which made life difficult for business,” she said, adding that some motorists had hogged parking bays near her shop for hours at a time, making it difficult for boxes of second-hand books to be delivered.

“Sometimes my clients would have to drive in circles trying to find a parking spot as the spot in front of my store is occupied and they have to park like a kilometre away to eventually deliver the books.”

Kirsten Selgate, the owner of a baby-clothing store in Main Road, Kenilworth, said she hoped the new marshalls would help to bring down crime in the area. “We previously had informal car guards that would get aggressive if they did not receive a tip.”

However, Celina Craig, a stylist from a Main Road hairdressing salon, said some of their clients spent over four hours in the salon and they worried after two hours whether they needed to check on their vehicles.

The new marshalls also meant that some of the salon’s staff could not park near their work but instead had to find off-street parking in one of the residential roads.

Mr Quintas advised motorists planning on staying longer than two hours not to park in Main Road. “The off-street area close to Woolies in Summerley Road and the parking at the train station is underutilised,” he said.