Controversial new rules for paid parking in “blue” and “green” zones of Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia come into effect on October 1 2012, in spite of protests and objections by residents angry at having to pay up to park their cars in front of their homes.
Offices selling the vignettes for the zones to people able to come up with the documentation to prove their eligibility for resident’s parking stickers stayed open for extra time on September 30 to enable people to meet the deadline.
From October 1, people whose cars are parked outside their city centre homes but do not have the required stickers face their vehicles being clamped, with fines to be paid to be release their cars.
The response to the last-minute payment facility seemed to be less than overwhelming, going by media reports. A sum total of 90 people came to the offices to buy parking vignettes on September 30, reports said. In all, about 6000 people have applied for residents’ parking vignettes.
Residents of the paid parking areas would be allowed to purchase parking stickers priced at 150 leva a year/15 leva a month in the central “blue zone” and 100 leva a year (or 10 leva a month) in the outlying “green zone”. Parking stickers for a second car are priced much higher – 450 leva a year in the “blue zone” and 300 leva a year in the “green zone”.
Without such a sticker, parking in a “blue zone” costs two leva (about a euro) an hour with a two-hour limit for parking. Payment can be made by sending a text message that contains the licence plate number to the number 1302. Parking in a “green zone” costs one lev an hour with a four-hour limit (payment can be made to the number 1303). The parking restrictions are in effect from 8am to 7pm from Monday to Friday and up to 2pm on Saturdays.
The system went into effect on September 1, but due to the protest rallies, Sofia city hall has delayed the introduction of the paid parking stickers for residents to October 1.
Civil society groups have lodged court action against the new system. The initial court hearing is scheduled for October 5.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)
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