The introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ), or changes to an existing zone, are considered in response to demand from local residents and businesses. Any proposal would require a demonstration that it has widespread support among local residents, in the form of a petition for example, which clearly indicates what action residents would like us to take. The petition would need to be signed by a minimum of 51% of the households directly affected. Should such a petition be received, it would be reported to the Cabinet Member of the Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (CSOSC), along with officer recommendations, so that all relevant matters can be considered including whether the resources required to progress the proposal are justified. If approval to proceed is obtained, part of the process would include a consultation with local residents and businesses.
Legislation requires that we have regard to various factors in making a decision on whether an area should have a CPZ introduced. These include the views of owners and occupiers of properties but also the need for maintaining the free movement of traffic including public service vehicles, reasonable access to premises and the effect on the amenities of any locality affected. There may also be other matters which appear to us as being relevant which we are obliged to take into account.
We produce a letter (or leaflet) and questionnaire that is delivered to every property in the consultation area. In this document we provide all the relevant information relating to parking controls, including costs and ask a series of questions, the responses to which will help us decide whether a scheme should be introduced and how it will operate.
We aim to obtain a minimum 25% response rate to our consultations, and try to make it easy and convenient for everyone to respond by providing a postage paid return envelope and an option to complete the survey online. We compile the results that show the individual responses from each household and business to determine the views expressed by you or your neighbours. This enables us to accurately define the areas where there is support for the introduction of controls and those areas where there is not. You can be assured that your responses remain confidential and are not available for individual scrutiny.
Enabling businesses to respond to the consultation in sufficient numbers can be a challenge. Our engagement with local representatives helps to make businesses aware of the process. The analysis of the questionnaire and comments also helps us to ensure that the design of a proposed zone most accurately reflects the desires of the community, be it one-hour zones, controls on Saturday or any other local factor to the area.
The results of this consultation will be analysed both for the overall area and on a street-by-street basis. When examining the results we will take into account the response rate, the level of support and whether the streets involved would form a coherent zone area. We try to ensure that zone boundaries are clear so that any confusion can be avoided.
The introduction of parking controls in one street often results in displacement parking problems in adjacent streets, as commuters and other motorists may move their cars to the nearest road where parking is unrestricted. Consequently, we consult over a wider area than that in which there are known to be current parking difficulties.
Reporting on the consultation results
The results of parking consultations together with officer recommendations are reported to the CSOSC for consideration and subsequently to the Council’s Executive for approval.
Introducing parking controls
For parking controls to be introduced, we will take into account the views of residents and businesses, as detailed above. However, customer feedback is not the single deciding factor. All relevant factors will be considered before arriving at a decision.
Residents and businesses are informed of the results of the consultation exercise and the decision made by the Executive by letter. Updates on each consultation and a copy of the committee report detailing the results can always be found on our website.
Order making and implementation
CPZs are introduced under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and require legal traffic management orders (TMO), which designate the permitted parking places and yellow line waiting restrictions. We must undertake a consultation with statutory consultees, advertise the proposals in the local press and have regard to any objections before making the order.
The complete process, from consultation to zone implementation, generally takes between six and twelve months. The process takes time as once a final scheme has been designed and approved we are required to consult the police and emergency services about our proposals, advertise and make the TMO, manufacture and install parking signs, as well as road markings.
After a new zone has been operational for at least twelve months, we carry out a review consultation to find out if the controls are working effectively.