Agenda item

Permit Parking Schemes (Agenda Item 6)

Report of the Director, Organisational Development. 


The Principal Member Services Officer presented the report which gave members some background and context to the general use of parking permit schemes to enable a better understanding of this aspect of the review.


The report outlined the distinction between permits and season tickets and their jurisdiction.  In Norfolk, jurisdiction for issuing permits lies solely with the County Council and the County works closely with any district that wished to introduce such permit schemes.  It was noted that the only second tier council in Norfolk which operates an existing permit parking scheme is Great Yarmouth Borough Council.


The report gave details of the Great Yarmouth permit scheme and one other operated by East Hertfordshire District Council.


The report considered the issues that would need to be taken into account if the Council was to contemplate such a scheme for Attleborough.


As previously revealed by the review, Attleborough has very limited on street parking in the town centre.  There were also some 180 residential properties located on streets in the central area, a significant proportion of which were flats with no or limited dedicated parking provision.   Adjacent residential areas at Edenside Drive and New North Road were both narrow and highly congested streets.


There would be costs incurred in introducing any such scheme in respect of administration, signage, advertising, associated legal costs etc. and enforcement would be a further critical factor for any scheme.


Mrs. Dale confirmed that existing on street parking was problematical for the town as there was little enforcement carried out by the Police.  The decriminalisation of on street parking would remove the responsibility from the Police altogether.


While the Town Council had not yet given any detailed consideration to this issue, Mrs. Dale agreed that enforcement was a key issue.  Edenside Drive was the only residential area that experienced problems from on street parking.


One member stated that, in her experience, permit systems were not enforceable and she would not recommend them for that reason.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer advised that the AAAP was unlikely to include the issue of on street parking at the present time but could do so if it was raised as an issue at a future date.


The Head of Asset Management concurred that overall enforcement was a critical issue.  The review thus far indicated a need to manage the existing provisions as efficiently as possible over the new few years pending the future planned expansion, which might then offer some more readily available solutions.  He felt the main recommendations from the UEA study – redesign of current car parks, designation of short and long stay car parks and car park expansion – would be a key to solutions in other areas.


So far as enforcement was concerned, the issue of shared funding could be explored, although it was questionable as to how effective enforcement would be.


Mrs. Dale suggested that, if the Queens Street car park could be redesigned to create an additional 20% of spaces, a possible option on that site might also be to zone the car park for short and long stay parking via a barrier access point.


On the question of enforcement, the Chairman felt there was a need to know the details of the arrangement of the scheme at Swaffham to inform options for Attleborough or elsewhere.


The Head of Asset Management said this could be looked into and details reported back, although he explained that this was an area that did not solely fall within his function area.


The Principal Member Services Officer explained that the Swaffham scheme was an historical arrangement that came from a former Three Tier Working Agreement between the County, District and Town Councils, and in fact, Swaffham Town Council was the only town to take up a scheme under that Agreement.


In concluding its discussion on this area, members felt that the issue of permit parking should not be pursued at the present time but it was agreed that it would be helpful to have background information on the operation of the parking enforcement scheme at Swaffham.<1>


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