Somerset County Council
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Getting a new Resident Parking Scheme for your area

 

We have revised our policy about how residents can request that resident parking schemes are introduced or changed.

This policy sets out how we will deal with requests for new on-street parking restrictions or amending existing controls. It is important to note there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. Highway safety issues will be paramount and any proposal must be financially viable

More information about Living with Controlled Resident Parking in Somerset

What you can request
In general terms there are two types of parking restrictions.

1 Restrictions that stop (prohibit) parking (waiting). These include

  • Double yellow lines
  • Single yellow lines
  • Loading bans
  • School Keep Clears
  • Verge and footway parking bans

2 Restrictions that allow parking (permit waiting). These include

  • Disabled parking bays
  • Permit parking (for example, residents or business) 
  • Loading bays
  • Coach parking bays
  • Limited waiting bays
  • Pay and display bays

We receive requests to introduce or amend parking restrictions from a variety of sources, such as:

  • Residents
  • Police
  • Developers
  • Councillors
  • District Councils
  • Town Councils
  • Parish Councils

Before implementing any scheme, the views of everyone who could be affected by the proposal will be considered by consulting widely, as it may be necessary to extend the area of control from the original request.

Process to request Resident Parking Restrictions
When we receive a request for resident parking restrictions, we will send you an acknowledgement.

To make sure our resources are used efficiently, only schemes that have demonstrated support from an appropriate representative number of local residents, 60 per cent, will be accepted.

This evidence could be submitted as a simple petition with sufficient signatures to the following address:

Parking Services
Somerset County Council
County Hall
Taunton
TA1 4DY

This is a template petition for residents to use 

Or, residents can contact us as individuals by letter or email. The total number of requests will be considered the same as a petition.

The request will be added to the list of new requests so that a review of the area can be undertaken. 

We will prioritise scheme requests in the following way:

1. Order of request.
2. Level of support and requests from residents.
3. Impact on residents and the area.
4. Ability to co-ordinate work with other Highway and Traffic schemes in the area.
5. Financial viability.

Details of requests and progress of schemes will be reported through the Highway Improvement Board. 

The process   
The initial request or petition must demonstrate that 60% of the residents support the implementation of residents parking or changes to the current parking arrangements.

Following an assessment and the processes mentioned above, we will undertake a review of the area. During this review, other roads in the area may be assessed, to identify issues such as displacement (cars moving to nearby streets to find unrestricted parking), business, visitor attractions, town centre improvements, traffic flows, congestion, parity of availability and charges (based on the concept of ‘polluter pays’).

The review will take a ‘holistic view’ to make sure the scheme is ‘right first time’, particularly in terms of displacement. The need to consider displacement is highlighted in a Local Government Ombudsman complaint which found the documentation sent out by the Council* as part of the consultation exercise was

“deficient in not drawing the attention of the recipients to the possibility of displacement parking on streets left out of the CPZ, which means that they were given insufficient information to make an informed decision on whether they wished their street to be included.”
*London Borough of Ealing

The review may identify a residential area with adequate off-street parking as being unsuitable for a resident parking area. If non-resident parking is a problem. a safety-based solution may be appropriate, for example, yellow lines during school run times. 

Initial consultation 
This will usually involve a public meeting that all residents in the identified area will be invited to, with a questionnaire to be completed.

For a mixed scheme, such as in a town centre, where business and retail properties are in the consultation area, they will be involved in the consultation to make sure the needs of their visitors and customers are taken into account.  

The aim of the consultation is to identify whether most residents would support the introduction of parking controls. The consultation will also identify the cause of problem parking that usually results in residents being unable to park near their property.

Once they have been presented with the controls that could be introduced, the consultation will also ask residents say what they think the design of the scheme to be.

If most residents support the need for controls, a draft scheme, based on the specific needs of the residents and the surrounding areas will be prepared.

Our policy is to proceed with a scheme development when the initial consultation response rate is more 60% with most respondents in favour of parking controls. A lower rate may be acceptable where a unanimous response is received.

The consultation may result in no viable solution being identified, particularly if there are too many residents’ vehicles for the available road space.

Informal consultation 
After the initial consultation, a draft scheme will be prepared based on a highway assessment of the area. The scheme will take account of resident feedback received during the initial consultation process. Details of the draft scheme will be circulated to residents and interested parties for further comments.

Details of the informal consultation will help with the design of the final scheme and enable the Traffic Regulation Order to be drafted.

The consultation process may also identify other places in the wider area where residents may not want controls to be introduced. These could be removed even if controls in the original requesting location go ahead.

Formal consultation 
Once the legal documents have been prepared, the draft Traffic Regulation Order will be published for formal consultation. Formal consultation of a Traffic Regulation Order takes the form of an advert in the local paper and Public Notices placed near the proposed restrictions (where appropriate). Local residents and any other interested bodies will also be sent notification letters. Local Councillors, emergency services, the Freight Transport Association, the Road Haulage Association, the Chief Constable and local public transport operators are notified of the proposals.

The formal consultation period is for at least 21 days from the start of the notice.

Full details of the scheme will be made available at County Hall, local district and town councils, and online.

Objections to proposals
Any objections to the proposals and comments of support must be made in writing to the address specified in the notice or sent by email during the consultation period. All objections must be considered and dealt with regardless of where the objector lives.

The results of the consultation will be considered in liaison with the local County Councillor, whose support will be sought on the scheme and determining any objections.

Decision to implement
Once the consultation period has closed; all objections and comments will be considered. If the scheme is to be abandoned or amended, residents will be told the decision, and the reasons for the decision, in writing.

The decision to confirm the scheme and formally seal the Traffic Regulation Order and determine any remaining objections will be made by the relevant authorised officer following consultation with the local Councillor and the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, if necessary. If appropriate, the Traffic Regulation Order will be referred to the TRO sub-committee for approval.

They will all need to be satisfied that all required procedures have been followed and that the proposal is supported by the local County Councillor.

All residents and those that objected during the formal consultation process will be notified of the Council’s decision on the Order.

Once the decision to implement has been made, any lining and signing works will be arranged, along with any pay and display machines that may be needed.

Where necessary, residents will be provided with details of how to get any required permits. 

After the TRO is sealed and the signing, lining, installation of machines is finished, the necessary formal notice will be placed in the local newspaper advising the date the scheme will come into effect.

Local residents will be notified of the start date of the restrictions and when the Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers will start regular patrols.

More background information to this policy.

Contacts

Contact: Somerset Parking Partnership

Address: Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton TA1 4DY 

Phone: 0300 123 2224 

Opening Hours: (To speak to an advisor about a Penalty Charge Notice or a parking permit): Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday closed

Email: parking@somerset.gov.uk

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