Suggested Residents’ Parking Strategy 2004
Suggestions Put Forward by the Stratford-upon-Avon Society
The following suggestions are put forward to stimulate debate about the kind of arrangements that might be used to regulate Residents’ Parking following decriminalisation of parking enforcement and introduction of charges for on-street parking in the town centre. Although decriminalisation will increase enforcement (it is expected that over half of the proposed 19 enforcement officers will operate in Stratford-upon-Avon), charging for on-street parking will encourage more motorists to use residential parking zones for stays of less than 2 hours.
There are currently 12 residents’ parking zones where vehicles parking between designated hours must either stay no longer than 2 hours, or must display a residents’ parking permit, a visitor’s parking permit, a disabled person’s badge, or the vehicle must be an invalid carriage. The zones are roughly divided into two groups. In one group of zones (presumably those at high risk from shoppers), the restrictions apply Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm, with no return within 4 hours. In the other group of zones (presumably those at risk from commuters), the restrictions apply Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, with no return within 4 hours.
Households in the controlled zones can purchase up to 3 permits per household, together with 1 visitor’s permit. Permits cost £10 each and are valid for one year (it is expected that the cost of permits will soon increase to £25 each).
The residents’ permits do not all apply exclusively to the zone where the householder lives. People who live in Grove Road can apply for a residents’ parking permit for Zone 8 (Old Town). Similarly, people who live in Chapel Lane, Chapel Street, High Street, Sheep Street, Southern Lane and Waterside can also apply for a residents’ parking permit for Zone 8 (Old Town) and Zone 7 (Church Street, Ely Street and Scholars Lane). Finally, people who live in Arden Street, part of Birmingham Road, Bridge Street, Greenhill Street, Guild Street, Henley Street, Meer Street, Union Street, Windsor Street and Wood Street can apply for a residents’ parking permit for Zone 2 (Great William Street and Mulberry Street) or Zone 3 (Maidenhead Road, Mayfield Avenue and Mayfield Court).
Problems With Existing Arrangements
There are three main problems with the existing arrangements as follows:
Making the Regulations Enforceable
In the context of decriminalisation and charging for on-street parking in the town centre, the simplest way of dealing with this would be to extend the charging regime – albeit with different charges – to all residents’ parking zones. Each vehicle parking in the town centre will in future have to display a ticket showing when they parked and how much they have paid (i.e., whether they are expecting to stay for only 20 minutes = free, for 1 hour = £0.70, or for 2 hours = 1.40). Similar systems operate in Canterbury and St. Andrews. In Canterbury, non-residents can park for up to 2 hours, but must display a voucher costing £0.60 per hour. The arrangement is similar in St. Andrews, where scratch cards are used. The cards can be purchased in most shops and petrol stations and the relevant windows are scratched to show when the vehicle was parked. It is suggested that the on-street charging regime be extended to all residents’ parking zones and that charges for non-residents should be 30 minutes = free, 1 hour = £0.60 and 2 hours = £1.20. This would make the charges comparable to the charges in short-term, off-street car parks. After 6 pm a £1.20 ticket would cover any period up to 8 am the next morning (or 5 pm and 9 am respectively in the Residents’ parking zones affected by commuters).
Recommendation: That the County and District Councils immediately begin consulting residents on the desirability of introducing a charging regime for non residents wishing to park in a residents’ parking zone. The charging regime to be introduced in parallel with decriminalisation and charging for on-street parking in the town centre.
Controlling Excessive Parking
If you rent or purchase a property in somewhere like Waterside, or Henley Street, you cannot realistically expect to have an on-street parking space outside your front door or, failing that, to park free in another residents’ parking zone. The appropriate solution for the residents of such areas, is to either rent a garage (going rate about £500 per year), or to purchase a season ticket for a long-term car park (cost currently £220 per year). As a gesture of goodwill, the District Council might even consider offering such residents a discount of 20% on the cost of a long term season ticket to bring the cost down to £176 per year. If the above residents cannot access any suitable long-term parking close to where they live, then it is suggested that they be asked to pay £220 (or the potentially discounted figure of £176) to park in another resident’s parking zone.
Recommendation: That residents’ parking tickets costing £10 only be issued for the zone in which the vehicle owner lives. Tickets for residents’ from other areas to be issued on a “as needed” basis at a cost of £220 (or the potentially discounted figure of £176).
Discouraging Multiple Residents’ Permits
The provision that enables each household to purchase up to 3 residents’ parking tickets, plus 1 visitor’s ticket, appears excessive. One visitor’s ticket per household seems fine, since most visitors park during off-peak periods (e.g., middle of the day, evening and weekends). Three residents’ permits per household means that one household could effectively occupy all the spaces in front of 3 houses. It is suggested that the absolute number should be reduced to 2.
The next question is whether both tickets should continue to cost £10, as is currently the case. Clearly, the first ticket should continue to cost £10 (or the higher figure of £25 when that is introduced). However, there is no reason to suppose that the second ticket should cost £10, given that it typically results in the householder occupying parking spaces outside both their own and other people’s houses. The case is similar to the non resident wishing to park his vehicle in a zone other than the one where he lives. The logic of controlling excessive parking suggests that the same rules should apply – the second residents’ parking ticket should cost £220 (or the potentially discounted figure of £176).
Under the above arrangement, a household with two vehicles could still avoid paying the higher rate. Provided they kept one vehicle “normally” parked outside their property, their second “incidental” vehicle could use their visitor’s permit.
Recommendation: That the number of residents’ parking tickets be reduced to 2, plus a visitor’s permit. Furthermore, that the first residents’ parking ticket continues to cost £10, while the second costs £220 (or the otentially discounted figure of £176)
Special Problems of Bed-and-Breakfast Operators
Bed-and-Breakfast operators face special problems with visitor parking. It is therefore suggested that they be entitled to purchase stocks of “special” 24-hour visitor tickets for use only by bona fide residents of the B&B establishment. The tickets might cost £1.20 per 24-hour period in line with the suggested price of non-residents’ parking tickets. A one-week ticket could also be offered at, say, £5.
Recommendation: That B&B operators should be able to purchase 24-hour visitor parking tickets at a cost of £1.20 per 24-hour period, or £5 for a week, for use by bona fide residents of their B&B.