POLICE cars have started adding to the woe of residents who have been demanding the right to park outside their own homes for the last 20 years.

Homeowners in Forest Road, Loughton, have been pleading with the council for resident-only parking bays to give them a fighting chance of finding a space in the face of competition from shoppers and commuters heading for the nearby High Road.

Residents have recently become increasingly aware that staff at the police station in the High Road are joining the struggle for spaces.

Tony Cootes, 86, who has lived in Forest Road for 57 years, said: “We often put a bin out the front to stop people parking outside out house. All of the spaces go first thing, and you often see police parking their cars outside when they start their shift at 6am.”

Another resident who did not want to be named said: “They often take our spaces. Apparently there is a problem with insurance claims if they park outside the station. “They even made us remove our bins when we put them there to keep our spaces.”

Some residents have copies of letters dating back to the 1980s demanding parking restrictions, and a 100 name petition in 2005 failed to produce any effect.

No date has yet been set for a decision on Loughton’s long awaited parking review leaving residents with no immediate prospect of an end to their traffic misery.

Judith Woodman, 62, of Forest Road said: “I have become very jaundiced. The Loughton Residents Association have said a number of times they are going to get something done on this and have failed.”

Mr Cootes said: “We have asked time and time again for parking permits but the council just do not want to know. We are not asking much, just to park outside our homes.

“Now we have huge lorries and double decker buses coming down because their SatNav is saying that it is the quickest way in to Loughton.”

Essex Police have been asked to comment.

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