Olympic parking permits – a right Royal Greenwich cock-up


After a week away, I came back to to find news from Greenwich Council about Olympic parking restrictions in my doormat. A few days on from reading it for the first time… does anyone understand what the hell it’s about?

If you’ve not had one delivered – and I understand some homes have not had one, here’s a PDF of the Greenwich Council Olympic parking leaflet. It’s not on the front page of the council website, and frankly, it’s a perfect example of how not to communicate with people – I’m a fairly literate fellow, but I lost it in the talk of RBPPAs, CPZs and EDZs.

However, as far as I can tell, the situation is roughly how it was announced last October. If you live in an area between Deptford Church Street, Lee High Road (yes, this affects Lewisham borough residents too) and Plumstead Common, you are likely to need a parking permit during the Olympics, even if you live in an area which doesn’t need permits (or are in a parking zone with “free” spaces). Existing residents’ permits are valid, it may be worth grabbing some additional visitors’ permits, whether you’re a driver or not. More details are due to be available at www.2012gamesparkingpermits.com later today. (UPDATE: This has now been delayed until Wednesday.)

Why on earth did it take Greenwich seven months to disseminate this information? With 46 days until the opening ceremony, it leaves almost no time for consultation and makes the communication process harder. The last time this happened, for the Millennium Dome, news was announced at two or three months beforehand (I still have my visitors’ permits…)

But the Dome situation was simple – here, people are in different situations, yet Greenwich just decided to send out a single generic leaflet written in pure council-speak. Even dumber, there are hundreds of notices tied to lamp posts, which again are just generic and confusing (although slightly more informative than the leaflets). (Some streets even have both the Greenwich Council and Lewisham Council versions of the notices – the latter refer to the “London Borough of Greenwich”, which is the first time I’ve ever chuckled at a public notice.)

It’s all a mess, but typical of a council that is concerned about using communications to burnish its own reputation instead of telling residents useful information. But gripes aside, get onto www.2012gamesparkingpermits.com today, and see what it means for you.

30 comments

  1. Not sure which one of us is off track on this one. My reading of the information was that my normal residents pass was fine, however my visitor permits are not. If I want to have any visitors during games time I need to apply for (up to) two reusable permits after the 11th June.

    I’d appreciate it if anyone in the know could clarify which version is correct.

    Darren

  2. Hmmmm. It’s slightly different in Lewisham. The BHA CPZ is also being extended to include Sundays, but our standard visitors permits are fine EXCEPT on sundays, for which we are being issued special olympic sunday visitors permits (one for each sunday affected, ie 7 in total). I wonder why the two councils are doing different things?

  3. The site currently states that “Royal Borough of Greenwich information will be available from 13th June 2012”. Hold tight for another couple of days…

  4. There’s a note on the parking website to say Greenwich info will be available from June 13th (Newham, Hackney and Waltham Forest info is already live).

  5. Yep … I read the information for Greenwich that our normal residents permit was fine but to use the webiste to apply for reusable visitors’ permits. The 2012gamesparkingpermits website states that the Greenwich permits will be available from 11th June …. as at 10.00 on 11th June there is nothing – perhaps there will be an update in the Royal Greenwich paper.

  6. I’ll have to double-check the new permits stuff, but that’s what I understood. All will maybe be clearer from Wednesday.

  7. I’m with Hedley and Darren. A the bottom of the first page it says: “If you have a CPZ parking permit, this will remain valid and will cover you for the extended restriction hours and days.”

    Still, I can’t quite believe this was allowed out of the door – it’s a nightmare to understand!

  8. I’ve also double-checked and you’re right – existing permits remain valid, but people will need new visitors’ permits. Thanks for the spot – will update the full post later.

  9. I live in Waltham Forest and have just spent an hour surfing the net trying to find out if my vehicle has been automatically registered, I failed. Next I tried talking to the automated telephone service, that was no better. This does not auger well if the rest of the organisation is as bad I feel we are doomed.

  10. […] Finally, above are the stats for people reaching this website via search engines on Monday. They were roughly the same on Tuesday. Sometimes I fret I’m talking nonsense and I’d be better off outside the off-licence shouting at the bins, but yes, it really does look like Greenwich Council has made a balls-up of telling people about Olympic parking permits. […]

  11. Well I was dreading applying, after listening to my neighbours problems. But hey it took me about 10 mins on-line and I was registered for a permit. Was trying to register for visitor permits. So telephoned and was told I will automatically recceive 2 with my own permit. But have to agree, the whole application site is a minefield. Hope the Olympic events are better organized. Maureen

  12. I tried to use the telephone system but it failed to recognise my spoken postcode. I registered through the website and then phoned to complain about the telephone system. I was told that the automated system “doesn’t recognise some accents.” (I speak RP English and the adviser had a Scottish accent!) I was then told that the system doesn’t have a method for registering complaints. All the years I’ve spent doing customer care, and I come on a LOCOG system that can’t imagine anyone complaining! (Or maybe just wants to ignore complaints.) You couldn’t make it up!

  13. If you haven’t got a car (but want visitor permits) you aren’t recognised and have to send in or upload a utility bill to prove residence -despite paying council tax at the same address for 10 years.

  14. That’s been my experience, Sheila, after 13 years (and having permits for the Millennium Dome scheme). A little bemusing, but hopefully it’ll work out.

  15. Greenwich council are certainly moving with the e revolution ?? The 2012 parking site will not work on mobile devices ( iPad or phone ) well done IT dept ! Messed up again !!

  16. I’m in Waltham Forest and have just had a confusing time with an attempt to do what it tells me to do to get a permit which means I’m going to have to clog up their phones tomorrow morning along with all the others who can’t find out how to register a car. The website address they give just seems to show the same version of the dense information but no way of applying for a permit. Whoever designed the list of roads involved hasn’t heard that alphabetical order is a fairly generally accepted way of listing things, either.

    Also, they have addressed the information to ‘lower flat’ and ‘upper flat’ – however, the postman/woman would have absolutely no way of knowing which flat was upper and which was lower from looking at our front doors alone and I can see that when I am eventually issued with a permit and something for visitors it will have little chance of actually reaching me.

    Whilst I don’t deny that people who like games should have games, the way residents have been treated so far shows a huge contempt for those of us who are unlucky enough to live in the shadow of the Olympics for the duration of the summer.

  17. Mary – I had a very similar experience with LOCOG’s written material. Apparently one house with three flats and two doors only gets one letter. Hmmm.

  18. Hi, hope the organising committee’s responsibilities fall short of the organisation of the games themselves. They’d have the athletes all running backwards with the Greenwich horses winning medals for best ribbons in tails. Not, however, a head-rolling competition!

  19. Hi,
    Thanks for putting the link up. When I tried typing it in all I got was a search page about Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Buckinghamshire (?). Nothing about Greenwich, except this blog. Still, given Greenwich’s pre-occupation with re-branding everything “Royal” Greenwich, and forgetting that some sporting event or other is happening in 5 weeks time I suppose that counts as a result.

  20. My car is registered in Norfolk (where I live 5 days a week) and my wife who lives in Woolwich common uses it whenever she needs it. They can’t understand this so I had to apply for visitors permits for my own car! I scanned in the docs, uploaded them and yes on the 18th my evidence was under review. Now I see that the application is just closed – have I done it or not? I guess I’m gonna have to speak to the Scottish people on the phone after all …….. lmfao

    By the way, I hope it rains for the whole thing WE HATE THE ‘LYMPICS

  21. If it rains during the Olympics, it’ll make everyone miserable. Unless there is a micro-climate in Norfolk which means it’ll be sunny there…

  22. There are poles placed each end of Langton way off Stratheden rd,Langton wa\y is an unadopted rd and I presume this is to enable barriers to be placed at each end to stop parking,may be agood idea but can sombody let the people who live there know,I have tried the people in charge of parking and R.B.G and got nowhere. J.C

  23. It is now 28th July. No sign of my Greenwich Resident’s Parking Permit – many neighbours in the same boat.
    IF it arrives it will be Greenwich’s second attempt – the first permit was sent to the wrong address, then they had tha gaul to phone me and tell me to apply again. This does not augur well if The Royal Borough has any say in the organisation of the events taking place on its patch and, frankly, I am amazed we managed to get through the opening ceremony.

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