Parking Services: what we are doing to help during the COVID–19 emergency
Published Thursday, 9 July 2020
We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, and in order to assist, we are adjusting our services in line with government guidance and industry best practice
Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs)
As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses and the country looks to recovery, we will be moving towards a service similar to that provided before the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the next couple of weeks, the number of patrols in operation will therefore increase. Although our focus will remain on main thoroughfares, town centres and high streets, we will begin to expand our service back into community shopping areas, and railway station Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs). All services will be conducted safely and in line with government guidance on social distancing and safe working practices.
The CEOs, who have been identified as key workers by the authority, will continue to enforce parking contraventions such as at pedestrian crossings, footway or pavement parking and double yellow lines.
Penalty charges can however still be issued for other less serious contraventions. In this way, those needing to park more easily, such as Blue Badge holders and emergency workers, can continue to do so.
Verbal or physical abuse against a CEO will not be tolerated and any such incidents may be referred to the Police.
The authority agreed that several CEOs would be moved away from their enforcement duties to assist the waste management team with the re-opening of the household re-use and recycling centres in the borough for the benefit of the community. This successful arrangement will remain in place until the end of June, at which time, it will be reviewed.
Parking enforcement within railway station CPZs and in all residential areas across the borough is returning to levels similar to those provided before the COVID-19 emergency. Penalty Charges can be issued for all contraventions and reports of dangerous or obstructive parking, such as; parking in front of a dropped footway, parking on the pavement, parking on yellow lines or actually blocking a street will be investigated by the CEOs. Our online service is the quickest and easiest way to report incorrect parking.
Enforcement of our bus lanes across the borough was ceased at the beginning of the government lockdown, when transport was largely restricted to essential users and journeys only. As we move towards recovery from COVID-19 with traffic on the roads returning to levels similar to those before the crisis and more non-essential journeys being carried out, it is essential to ensure that bus lanes are free from obstruction. As a fair and reasonable measure, between 20 – 30 June, nil charge warning notices will be issued to motorists who contravene bus lane restrictions. However, from 1 July onwards, full charge penalty notices will be issued to motorists who enter bus lanes during restricted times.
Government coronavirus (COVID-19) parking pass
We are extremely grateful for the essential services provided by holders of the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) parking pass, whose contributions have allowed us to move into the recovery phase.
As we enter into the recovery phase however and the demand for parking increases across the borough, it is fundamentally important for transport and community purposes that we take back control of parking on-street and in our car parks. As well as the measures outlined above, we will be issuing nil charge warning notices for a period of seven days from 9 July to holders of the government’s parking pass. Holders of this pass will be encouraged to park in accordance with restrictions in the future, as the concessions associated with the government’s scheme cease to be recognised within the borough. We consider that this a fair and reasonable approach as we move away from the emergency reactionary stage.
As the highway authority, we must strike a fair and equal balance for all road users. Our approach will free up parking spaces for all motorists in the community and assist businesses by making parking spaces available for deliveries and for the use of their customers.
What you can do
There will be parking pressures in many areas and we therefore ask that you please park considerately and do not block access particularly for emergency vehicles and waste collections.
Together with your help we will get through this.