Sofia Parking Rules, Vehicle Removal 'Illegal' - Court

Society | June 26, 2014, Thursday // 17:58|  views

A sign with an inscription reading "Blue Zone" allowing citizens to park in Sofia's center in return for a fee, but only for two hours. Permanent residents currently have the right to do so without time restrictions. File photo

Sofia's Administrative Court declared illegal changes allowing citizens with a permanent address to park within the Blue or Green Zone in return for a yearly fee.

It said present regulations deprived those using only a current address in the city center or immediate neighborhoods of having anywhere to park their vehicles.

The court also ruled that removal of vehicles (and other similar sanctions) contravened the law, as the Sofia Urban Mobility Center, the company in charge of prepaid parking in Bulgaria's capital, was not entitled to forcefully move away irregularly parked cars.

Magistrates were quoted by as saying the Sofia Urban Mobility Center was not a municipal venture, but a privately-owned one to which the Sofia Municipality illegally assigned the right to remove vehicles.

Under current legislation, private firms are not allowed to perform such activities.

The court also believes the Center brings damages to the Municipality as revenues from parking activity are allocated to the private company's budget and not to its commissioner.

New rulings have already divided governing socialists and opposition GERB, the party which raised the bid of Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova in 2011 (the legislation was introduced during her ongoing term in office).

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) supports the court's decision and has called for amending rules at the Municipal Council, while GERB says it was referring to a decree which had never entered into force.

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Tags: blue zone, green zone, Yordanka Fandakova, BSP, GERB, Sofia Urban Mobility Center


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