The Sub-Committee will receive an overview of the implementation and enforcement of resident parking schemes in the borough.
Following a request from the Sub-Committee an overview of the implementation and enforcement of residential parking scheme in the borough was given.
Officers explained that requests for parking schemes could be received from residents, members or businesses. This could be due to commuter parking or another issue. The area is assessed and a series of consultations are carried out. This would include presenting to the Highways Advisory Committee. A full consultation with the residents and businesses is then carried out before the scheme is implemented. Once the scheme goes live this is enforced over the first month and publicity of the scheme is carried out.
It was noted that there was often displacement following the implementation of a new parking scheme, therefore the team had to become proactive in enforcement.
The Enforcement CEO’s acted as a deterrent, however it was important that residents had the first choice and convenience was maintained. The Enforcement team was made up of 22 CEO’s, however it was growing with the priorities in the borough. The biggest issue was around schools, ensuring that residents had priority and the commuter parking. Most of these were considered to be poor parking behaviours. The Enforcement Team operated 7 days a week up until 10:00pm.
Members felt that often it took a long while for schemes to be implemented. Officers explained that there had been a number of key officers that had left the organisation, however there had been an active recruitment drive which brought the service back to full capacity.
It was noted that there were a number of areas that contributed to parking schemes, these included the schools expansion programme which included 8-9 schools who had project plans and would mean major schemes needed to be consulted upon. The service would need to mitigate any resident’s challenges whilst ensuring that the school children were kept safe. It was possible that other schools may also expand in the future. The enforcement around schools had been only one officer; this had recently been increased to two however it was impossible to be at every school. There was a schedule for the enforcement of schools, however this was constantly changing and they were looking to adopt other options and powers to deal with the issue.
Officers explained that they would look to work with Head teachers, the local community and Ward Councillors about how school zones could be improved. They were looking to mitigate the problem and were trying to discourage short carjourneys, so there was an exclusion zone around the school, which would mean more safety for the children.
Members asked how the schemes were prioritised. Officers explained that if there was a scheme needed to prevent danger, this was prioritised; otherwise all schemes would be dealt with as they were received. Each scheme was assessed for safety issues and displacement and the effect this would have on residents in the area.
Discussions were had about residential parking zones and how these could lead to isolation for an older person living alone who did not have any permits. This reduced social visits or one-off visits. Officers stated that this was an area that needed to be investigated. However it would be open to abuse.
The Chairman suggested that a new Topic Group be established to look at how the visitor parking scheme could be improved so that the elderly people in the borough were not isolated, and short, one-off visits could be done in areas where parking permits were needed.