Whether or not you drive or will need to apply for a parking permit, these proposals will affect everyone who lives, works or travels in the neighbourhoods where we manage on-street parking and surrounding areas. Your opinion about all of our proposals matters, and we would like to hear from everyone.
Permits you may want to buy
As a resident, you are most likely to be directly affected by a new charging structure for Residents' Parking Permits. We haven't reviewed the cost of Residents' Permits since 2013, and are linking our new charging structure to CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, with the aim of improving air quality, and in line with the approach used by the DVLA.
Why CO2 emissions are important
We are proposing to link the cost of these permits to the emissions of the vehicle, with corresponding rises in cost for diesel and high engine capacity cars, and reductions for cars which offer zero emissions. To make the emissions-based prices fair, we are proposing to charge them consistently for all zones where parking is controlled. Our analysis shows that around 30% of vehicles are unlikely to have to pay more, compared with our current prices. We're currently working on an equalities assessment process, to ensure that the new arrangements won't affect any group unfairly.
Emissions-based pricing means you must declare your vehicle registration when applying for your Residents' Parking Permit. You can register up to four vehicles on your permit, but the price you pay will be based on the vehicle with the highest emissions. This may reduce flexibility for some users, but has the advantage of reducing misuse, or resale of permits to people who are not eligible to use them. At the same time, we will offer Blue Badge holders a free Residents' Permit for their own vehicle, giving them more flexibility to use their badge to travel in other vehicles when required.
Even if you don't drive or don't keep a car, you may still want to buy Visitor Permits for car drivers who come to your home. We currently offer both digital hourly permits and paper full-day permits. Where paper permits are available, we are proposing to introduce paper half-day permits, to give greater flexibility to those who cannot use digital permits. These proposals should make it easier to use permits, and to avoid paying for parking time that isn't needed.
We are also proposing a modest increase in daily charges for visitor parking, the first time we have done this since 2013. Increases will be phased in over three years, with a 50p per day rise in year one, followed by 25p per day rises in years two and three.
These proposals compliment a wider council strategy to promote more Liveable Neighbourhoods and reduce pollution. In the longer term, these proposals should have a positive impact on air quality, as people switch to cleaner vehicles, and more active modes of travel where feasible, such as cycling or walking.
The impact of changes to other permits
Several other proposals may have an impact on your neighbourhood:
- Our proposed changes to Hotel, Guest House and Holiday Let Parking Permits will take hospitality guest parking off residential streets, and bring the cost of this in line with visitor parking in city centre areas, aligning with our wider Transport Strategy and policy to encourage sustainable transport choices.
- The move towards digital-only services for a variety of professional parking permits should make it easier, quicker and more reliable for these professionals to provide for their parking needs, and for them to provide services to you.
- A digital service for Medical and Social Care Parking Permits means that we can collect anonymous data on where these permits are used. In the future, this will help us to avoid potential misuse and identify local needs, when we are planning parking provision in areas where more vulnerable residents and patients live.
- It's possible that some trade services may pass on the increase in the cost of Trade Parking Permits to you as a customer.