Greenwich Council’s accidental Olympic parking bonus

A quick question – how are you getting on with Olympic parking permits? Asking around, there still seems to be a fair bit of confusion around, two weeks ahead of restrictions kicking in.

I applied and was surprised to be sent four visitor permits after a month’s wait – on enquiring further, I’m told there’s been a cock-up and everybody’s been sent twice as many permits as that should have been.

So, while I stride through the streets of Charlton clutching my parking booty, wondering if I know four people with cars who want to visit me simultaneously, how is the process going for you? Whether you live in Greenwich or Lewisham, please share your experiences.

(If you still need to check whether your street is affected, go to

2.30pm update: I’m told that despite the passes and notepaper bearing Royal Borough of Greenwich logos, it’s a LOCOG cock-up instead of a council cock-up. Other boroughs, though, seem to be operating a paperless “virtual permit” system – so what’s different about Greenwich? It’s all odd.


  1. I have 4 visitors permits and 2 parking permits – 1 marked ‘replacement’. All of the permits do not appear to be marked with any zone – so I can probably now park in any zone as opposed to my home zone? No information provided to the contrary…

  2. Yes, we also got four visitor permits. The other confusing aspect is that the visitor permits have no indication of which zone they apply for. They just say ‘Existing CPZ’. Does that mean I can now park anywhere in Greenwich if I display a ‘visitor’ permit. Very confusing.

  3. Yup, 4 here. And they say Zone CPZ – , they don’t seem to be specific to the Westcombe Park zone.

  4. I’ve got four as well.

    The thing is, I’ve also got a resident’s permit (plus a replacement). Why?

    Do I have to have my exisiting resident’s permit and the Olympic resident’s permit on display? What’s the point?

  5. Four visitors permits here as well, they also say existing CPZ, phoned the permit people because normally we live in an area without restriction (Woolwich Common) so didn’t understand why we had been sent permits for an existing controlled parking zone and got told don’t worry about it they will still be valid!

  6. Nothing yet, checked the site this morning and it says I have been issued a permit for one of my vehicles but the other one I registered says ‘closed’ but it won’t let me register the vehicle again. Very frustrating as registered nearly a month ago…

  7. On the visitor permit I thought the same as Mike.

    If I take my (2??) resident permits off (my usual ‘C’ permit and my Olympic permit) and shove a visitor permit on, does this mean I can park in the the ‘G’ zone for two hours, whereas I can’t now because I have a residents permit that only allows parking in the ‘C’ zone?

    I’m sure I could have phrased the above a little better, but if you read it through carefully it actually does make sense. I think……

    I am still interested in this additional resident permit as well. Can find no mention of it anywhere.

  8. Eight visitor permits issued to our household, so double the error ! Although the permits came on paper bearing the logos of both LOCOG and Royal Greenwich, its LOCOG that is administering the issue of CPZ permits for all Olympic boroughs and so it looks like their cock up.

    Like others who have commented, we have recieved no explanation of why we have been sent two residents permits per car, and there’s nothing to say whether the permits are valid for some or all of the CPZs.

    On the Visitor permit issue raised by Chris, my understanding was that existing permits would be valid during the normal CPZ hours, but that the new temporary permits need to be displayed during the extended hours.

    No evidence yet of anyone changing the signs to show the new tempoary restictions !

  9. Visitors Permits: An update to my earlier post. The Council’s web site says ” Existing visitor’s parking vouchers will not be valid.”

  10. Chris, all

    I was recently at a presentation and Q&A session with our local ward councillors on this issue, so (I think) I have a clear read on this:

    If you live in an existing Controlled Parking Zone and have a residents’ parking permit, that will be valid throughout the Games and you do not need to use the ‘Olympic’ parking permit on your own car.

    However, your normal RBG VISITORS’ permits will not be valid, and you have to use the LOCOG-supplied visitors’ permits during the Games.

    Just to be on the safe side, though, we will also be putting the LOCOG residents’ permit in our own car, as the gods only know what the LOCOG traffic wardens will do.

    But whatever you do – do NOT remove your RBG permit from your own car! And do NOT give your normal RBG visitors’ permits to visitors during the Games!

  11. We got 4 visitor permit and 2 resident permits. So the 4 visitor ones appear to be the buy one, get one free mix up but I’ve no idea why we got two new resident permits or what we’re meant to do with them…..

  12. At least Greenwich residents have been given free permits. Here in Lewisham, in the BHA parking zone, we’ve been issued with freebies for Sundays but must continue to pay for visitors to park on Mondays to Saturdays, even though the hours of restriction during the Olympics and Paralympics have been brought forward by a bafflingly trivial, yet annoying, half hour each morning.

  13. My sister applied for some a month ago – she’s still not received any.

  14. I got two of everything too. It didn’t occur to me that it was a cock-up. I assumed they were just being helpful by providing spares! Mine are marked Zone OB as expected.

  15. Hmmm.

    I will be shoving the Locog resident permit alongside my RBG permit as well, just to be on the safe side.

    lolawomble – ebay??!!

  16. I have eight (two cars). At this rate, there will be a parking problem caused by the number of permits!

  17. No visitors’ permits received at all for us though all our neighbours have them here in Foyle Road. Rang (after half hour work to find number) to chase up, they said we should have them but they are late because we didn’t apply till the 14th, Ha ha – we applied 14th June which was I believe first day we could apply. Will step up chasing them tomorrow. Hadn’t heard of having to have anything for own car as website seemed very clear that existing permit is valid.

  18. I also have 4 and an “Existing CPZ” one. I have a garage so don’t have an Existing CPZ permit – I just asked for the ones for the car in case my garage entrance gets blocked. It’s all terribly confusing. I was only expecting 2 of course. The instructions from the Council are so confusing I guess that any tickets given out due to permits not being displayed properly will be easily challenged in the Courts. To think we pay our Council tax for this …

  19. I applied on Saturday and was advised I’d get two visitors permits. I’ve even been issued one for our own car (which stays on the driveway and does not require a permit) despite saying I didn’t really need it!

  20. It strikes me that in trying to ensure that games visitors don’t use residents’ parking (whether by using an existing guest or resident’s permit), the organisers have made the situation much, much worse. Residents now have multiple, reusable, unzoned guest permits that they could potentially give to friends or use themselves (particularly for people like me who don’t have a resident’s permit on account of parking off road – we can now effectively park wherever we like in the borough for the next two months).

  21. Aside from areas which were not previously covered by parking restrictions I cannot work out why LOCOG have gone to all this trouble. Why not just let people use their regular visitor vouchers? Couldnt the authorities just assume that residents would be reasonably senisble and not give out all their visitor vouchers over the next couple of weeks?

  22. Adam, you’ve explained clearly what I’ve been miserably trying to say.

    The parking ‘restrictions’ actually mean I can now park in far more areas of Greenwich than I used to be able to! And my famil can, and my friends, and everybody else’s friends…..

    scared, you can have one of mine if yours don’t turn up.

  23. This week’s Greenwich Time says some permits are having to be sent out again because of the lack of zone info.

    Surprised they didn’t call it a “gaffe”, really.

  24. Sarah
    I had the same problem as they closed my permit request without issuing me one as I didnt supply the correct documentation. I spoke to someone at the Council who had to speak to LOCOG for me as it wouldnt let me reapply. They had to reset my account before I could re apply.

    I have 4 visitors as well.

  25. We discussed this amongst friends on Sunday and friends both in East Greenwich and West Greenwich are concerned as now anyone can park everywhere or be a visitor everywhere. Darryl – re GT article it does not confirm whether the vouchers already issued will still be legally valid. (at least in my skimming of the article) I’ve sent in a question for next weeks’ council for clarrification earlier today

  26. I had a promp and helpful reply from the Council today to an e mail which I sent yesterday. This says

    “1. If you already have an existing Controlled Parking Zone Resident
    Permit this remains valid throughout the Games. If not, and you have
    applied to LOCOG for a Games Time permit you should have been issued
    with a single Resident Permit marked with the intials of one Zone and
    registratrion number of your vehicle. It seems, as with others your
    permit may haves been incorrectly issued and we await information from
    LOCOG on how this is to be addressed; meanwhile only one permit needs to
    be displayed.

    2. Your permit should state the intials of one Zone only and permits
    parking in that Zone; again we await information from LOCOG on how this
    is to be addressed.

    3. Your free Games Time Resident Permit allows you to park in
    Resident/Shared use bays within the Zone in which you reside only

    4. Yes, signage will be changed where necessary; within existing CPZs,
    existing free bays will change to 2hours free parking and Permit holder
    parking during the Games ”

    So the main error seems to be that some permits issued by LOCOG don’t say which CPZ they are valid for. The intention was/is that both residents and visitors passes should only be valid for one zone, not all zones.

    I wonder who LOCOGs contractor was for this ?

  27. I have received a response to my question submitted to council. Original planned Council 25/07 has been cancelled and replaced with a special council meeting on 24/07 that will not be considering questions from us mere members of the public (electors). But fear not…. I will get my answer at the next meeting on a new specially convened full council on 25 September. Well hurahh for that!

  28. SUZY I have recieved my permits have tried to get an answer about replacement permits, no one seems to have any idea if we will get new passes in time for when the parking restrictions start.
    does anyone know if we can use the permits we have been sent or are we likely to get parking tickets.

  29. Will be interesting to see if LOCOG do send outreplacement visitors vouchers with the zones marked. And, if they do, to know what instructions will be given to parking wardens who come across a car using one of the first issue (all zones permits). Being of a suspicious mind I would like to know what, if anything, there is to stop LOCOG giving visitors vouchers to their own staff and friends. Maybe that is the real reason for insisting on olympics visitors vouchers in places where the normal ones would have been fine.

  30. Phoned today as I had not received my permits and was told the incorrect permits without a zone would not be valid. The guy I spoke to suggested I phone again tomorrow if the permits had not arrived, as by then they would have “contingency plans” in place.

  31. Just received a ‘replacement’ permit with two visitor permits, now with specific parking zone details. Still waiting for a replacement permit for the other car at the same address.

  32. I notice Charlton Lane has become a controlled parking zone overnight! All the free parking signs put up just a few days ago have been replaced by zone C. Very odd. No replacement permits received. I have just phoned LOCOG. They are now saying that residents parking permits will be valid until replacements received. But that doesn’t help those of us not previously in a CPZ. All they could tell me was that the permits should hopefully be in the post tomorrow. Not that it will help me if they are. I am off to the Olympics first thing tomorrow. I will not be impressed if I get back and my and my visitors’ cars have been towed!

  33. I still haven’t got the amended permits so will be using the incorrect ones – their mistake, their responsibility so far as I am concerned. Wouldn’t have known about the cockup if I hadn’t read about it in a local newspaper.

  34. Now received replacement permits for the additional car, plus two more visitor permits.

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