Parking Policy


Introduction

This document sets out the Councils policy regarding regulation of both on and off street parking controls throughout the Borough.

A parking policy is an integral part of a local authoritys traffic management policy. Many parking restrictions are introduced sporadically over the years with the aim of resolving particular local issues. Restrictions can be introduced locally but their effectiveness requires committed enforcement. It is essential that both their introduction and subsequent enforcement are clearly focused on achieving identifiable objectives.

In formulating a parking policy a consistent approach is established with resources targeted at high priority situations. The policy will help to review existing restrictions and the way in which they are implemented, to ascertain which objectives are being met and where improvements may be needed. Out of date or unnecessary restrictions should be removed if public acceptance of the policy is to be maintained.
The parking policy must demonstrate clear objectives that benefit the community and not be seen to be simply making money from punitive restrictions.

It must be recognised that parking provision to satisfy demand may not be achievable or desirable and that preferential conditions should be offered to the more sustainable forms of transport. It should also be remembered that the highway is intended for the purpose of passing and repassing and that no right of parking exists on the highway. Parking provision is therefore a concession and, however desirable, should not be at the expense of the purpose of the highway. However, where it is safe and desirable parking should be allowed provided that the situation complies with the aims and policies of the Authority. It should be noted that the distinction between residents cars and those of others can only be made through resident parking schemes. It should also be remembered that the Police may deal with parked vehicles which are causing obstruction, regardless of whether there are parking restrictions in force.

Parking policies

Parking policies are formulated to create a consistent approach to regulating the use of the highway and to ensure safe and appropriate use. The policies defined below aim to provide a framework to achieve this objective.

PP1 - Provision of Parking Places
Wherever it is possible, desirable and safe to park, taking into account the access needs of emergency service vehicles, this should be allowed. The conditions relating to who may park and for how long will be tailored to meet the local needs including those of residents, shops and businesses, subject to resources being available to the local authority.

Priorities will be afforded to Disabled motorists who rely on their vehicles to access local amenities.

PP2 - Road Safety & Casualty Reduction
Parking restrictions will be considered if an accident investigation identifies that parking is a contributory factor to the road safety situation at that location.

Parking restrictions will be investigated if it is considered parking is causing potential road safety hazards at a particular location, including impairing visibility for pedestrians seeking to cross the highway.

PP3 - Traffic Flow
Parking restrictions will be considered to ensure traffic flow and ensure safe turning movements. Situations affecting the passage of emergency service vehicles will be addressed in consultation with the emergency services affected. The extent of the proposals will be determined in accordance with the nature and classification of the highway.

Priorities will be given to proposals benefiting alternative modes of transport to the private car to assist in the creation of an integrated transport system.

PP4 - Environmental Conditions
Parking restrictions will be considered to improve the quality of life for residents, shoppers and other road users by reducing:
(i) conflict between vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists
(ii) vehicle speeds
(iii) danger

Priority will be given to parking conditions around schools to coordinate with the Authoritys Safer Routes to School initiatives. Priority will also be given to town centre residents where the introduction of other parking controls have resulted in parking displacement to their community.

Application of Policy to the Borough

The Borough of Redcar & Cleveland is the largest of the five boroughs in the Tees Valley covering an area of 94 square miles, but with a population of 140,000, has the second lowest population density at 5.7 people per hectare. The population is spread through a number of individual settlements, many of which are conservation areas, and the largest of which is Redcar with 33,000 residents. Around one third of the population live in communities of under 10,000 people each with the population gradually increasing in age as younger people move away to take advantage of better economic opportunities elsewhere.

More than half of Redcar & Cleveland Borough lies within a Rural Development Area and over 90% of East Cleveland land use is agricultural. Many of the small settlements grew up around ironstone mines that have long since disappeared, leading to limited job opportunities in these areas. This has led to a heavy reliance on the use of private cars for travel to the more urban and industrial areas of Teesside.

A large number of people depend on bus services for access to employment, education and other services, and, during daytimes, there is a good network of services to and from rural communities.

Car travel also presents its own difficulties in rural areas. Greater distances to services and generally lower incomes mean that rural households are relatively more affected by transport pricing policies than urban dwellers. Road safety is an important issue on
rural roads that often have poor alignments and visibility problems at junctions. The
Parking Policies contained in this document are aimed at addressing local issues and ensure optimum use of the highway network to benefit the community.

It is human nature to want to park as close as possible to the destination of a journey. Many people ask why controls are necessary ?, especially when it appears that they do not have any problem obtaining a parking space. The easiest way to answer this question is to imagine what would happen on a typical day if parking controls did not exist.

Usually the first people to travel into the town centre are commuters and shop workers. Assuming controls did not exist, it would be natural for these motorists to park as close as possible to their offices or shops. This would result in prime spaces being occupied all day with significant congestion caused around these areas in the morning and evening peak hours. This would hinder public transport accessibility to the town centres and result in shoppers and visitors having to park unacceptable distances from their desired destination. This would have a detrimental effect on the attractiveness of the town centre to the very people it is trying to attract. This is just one reason why controls are necessary. There are other reasons that are detailed in the parking policies contained in this document. The method of control must be carefully considered with the enforcement requirements of that type of control.

Both on and off street parking places are provided in most settlements and the control of the spaces have been tailored to meet the individual needs of that settlement. (PP1)

Redcar and Guisborough are two of the larger towns in the Borough. A variety of tariffs and maximum stay lengths have been introduced to manage demand on these spaces.

Any limited waiting restriction schemes are extremely labour intensive and must generate income to become cost neutral. Pay & Display offers the easier method of enforcement. It can be funded from the charges and resourced to appropriate levels by the Council.

The majority of spaces within the central area of Redcar are now covered by Pay & Display parking to ensure spaces are controlled and enforced as intended by the objectives of the parking policy. A free disc parking scheme operates on the main thoroughfare in the town centre of Guisborough with Pay & Display operating on the peripheral off street car parks.

Where Pay & Display is in operation the emphasis has been placed on structured parking tariffs with priority to short term parking close to attractive amenities with longer term parking displaced to the fringes of the town centres. This ensures people are able to access facilities easily during the day.

Disabled spaces are provided at both on and off street locations to meet the requirements of the locality.

Controls are not applied to off street parking places in other settlements within the Borough.

Whatever controls are introduced will not suit certain motorists parking requirements. People may object to pay for parking or the time restriction may not allow them to park for long enough. These motorists may search for an alternative location to park outside the restricted zone. Areas that may suffer from a potential parking displacement problem and this should be considered as part of any scheme. This displacement must be assessed on Road Safety & Casualty Reduction (PP2) , Traffic Flow (PP3) and Environmental Conditions (PP4).

A series of resident parking zones have been introduced in parallel with the parking controls in Redcar & Guisborough to protect predominantly residential streets.
Such zones benefit the residents by creating safer more environmentally friendly streets by removing commuters seeking to avoid charges.
The charging policy and resident parking zone programme has encouraged drivers to consider alternative environmentally friendly modes of transport where possible.
Parking problems exist in other locations around the Borough and are not always caused by the introduction of control measures. The highway network is assessed using the criteria defined in parking policies PP1, PP2, PP3 and PP4 and any restrictions that are deemed necessary are considered.

Particular problems are generated by parents around schools at school start and finish times. Parking restrictions are considered to ensure a safe environment is achieved for children walking to school. Motorists parking too close to junctions obstructing traffic and hindering turning manoeuvres are often sources of investigation.

Parking controls often place inconvenience on the local community and place significant resource commitments on the enforcing agency. Therefore, alternative approaches to a solution should be considered prior to the introduction of controls.
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Last updated:
21/03/2016

Assigned review date:
12/01/2017

Awaiting page content review by the allocated team


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