car2go Smart cars ticketed after using resident-only parking spots in Sutton
Car share scheme car2go has admitted it made a mistake in flooding people's parking spaces with vehicles as it launched last week.
car2go lets members pick up its cars from council parking spaces in Sutton, Islington and Newham. When the scheme launched last week car2go branded Smart cars were left all over Sutton - many of them in people's allocated on-street spaces which they pay money to the council to use.
It resulted in several of the vehicles getting tickets as neighbours complained to the council about their spaces being taken.
A car2go spokesman said: "During our in fleeting process our service team unfortunately put some car2go vehicles at resident-only parking spots in Sutton. We did inform our service team that we don't have a permission to do this and this should not happen again. We would like apologise for this and for any inconvenience this has caused."
The scheme launched last week. Members download an app to their phone or use a website to find out where nearby cars are then swipe a card over a sensor on the windscreen to gain access. They can then use the vehicles as much as they like for 35p per minute.
The cars can be left in any council-run or unrestricted parking space in the three boroughs but, as the scheme launched last week, at least 40 of the cars were left in parking spaces allocated to and paid for by neighbours prompting anger.
Councillor Tony Shields said: "At it's peak Sutton South had over 45 Smart cars dumped in residents Parking bays causing frustration and annoyance to residents why actually pay to park in the street.
"Immediately the complaints came piling in I have had now 16 individual complaints."
Sue Stearman of Reading Road said: "These car2go - they're everywhere. How is it going to work? They're putting them in people's residential streets where people pay for their parking. We have a parking permit but two cars are outside our house and they don't have parking permits in them."
Deborah Anderson, also of Reading Road, added: "Our household along with the other residents/car-owners of Reading Road have to pay for the privilege to park in our street which is a designated controlled parking zone.
"So imagine my frustration when I find five Smart Cars from car2go parked in the street - two of which have been stuck outside my house whilst we have had to park in a neighbouring road."
car2go operates in other European countries but London is the first city in the UK to get the cars with Sutton, Islington and Newham councils signing up straight away.
Stefan Muller, chief executive of car2go, said: ""A lot of Londoners don’t need or want a car all the time but enjoy the freedom that driving brings. car2go gives the best of both worlds - the ability to go where you want, when you want - and in comfort - but without all the costs associated with owning, running and insuring a car full-time."
People can sign up for car2go for free until December 31 by visiting www.car2go.com/London.