MOTORISTS with parking problems have described themselves as 'prisoners in (their) own homes'.

Increasing numbers of the car owning residents of Great Hollands feel not enough parking spaces are available.

A petition calling for the immediate construction of more spaces in the estate has so far collected 519 signatures.

"We the signed want more parking spaces in the Great Hollands area in Bracknell immediately," argued campaign leader Chris Keen.

"It's at the point where we get home from work and dare not go out again because we will have no where to park upon our return.

"We are quite literally prisoners in our own homes."

Anger has also been directed towards Bracknell Forest Homes (BFH), which owns a third of Great Hollands properties.

In a bid to stop parking violations, the housing association has employed Parking Control Management (PCM), a private firm of traffic wardens.

"So what have you done to improve the situation?" Mr Keen continued.

"You have employed PCM to stop people parking in the garage blocks. Which would be fine if you fixed the issue of why people parking in the garage blocks in the first place. You have made a bad situation worse and it's time to correct your lack of vision by creating the parking bays we sorely need."

While BFH has invested £1.2m installing 427 parking bays in 79 roads across the town since 2011 in a joint venture with the council, 92 of which were in Great Hollands with a further 13 to come by March next year, the problem is not going away.

Linda Wells, housing and community services director, said: “We recognise that Great Hollands and other areas in Bracknell Forest, do need more parking, much like other new towns across the country. Over the decades, car ownership and occupation on estates has increased substantially, which puts pressure on the parking spaces designed when estates were built.

"In Great Hollands, around two thirds of properties are in private ownership. There are garages for most of the properties which are either owned or rented - they are not always used for cars, though we appreciate some of the larger modern vehicles don’t fit.

"A common complaint from our customers is that their garages are obstructed which means they don’t have access and there is limited manoeuvring space. It is for this reason we decided to trial a parking enforcement scheme via PCM. The trial was successful and we consequently decided to roll it out to other areas in Bracknell."

BFH said it researched parking enforcement companies before choosing PCM, which is also contracted by Reading and Slough Borough Councils. BFH takes no revenue from the parking schemes.