Controlled Parking Zones

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Most large UK towns and cities have Controlled Parking Zones, otherwise known as Residents' Parking Schemes. All roads within fixed areas are covered with either parking places or waiting restrictions comprising double or single yellow lines. These restrictions cover lengths of roads and junctions where it would be dangerous to park or where it is necessary to allow free passage of vehicles. Large parts of the roadside are set aside for residents and other permit holders only. Some spaces are also available for Pay & Display time limited parking. Roadside close to shops and small businesses is used for exclusive Pay & Display time limited parking. Short lengths of roadside are used as loading bays or by Disabled Blue Badge holders.

The cost of resident permits are set to protect the environment. The yearly charge is £87.50 for a low emission vehicle, £175 for a standard emission vehicle and £306.25 for a high emission vehicle. Disabled residents pay an annual administrative fee of only £15 per year, £10 if they use a low emission vehicle. There is a yearly allocation of 50 visitor permits costing £3.80 each.

The money raised from permits, pay & display tickets and fines is used to pay for the administration and enforcement of the scheme. Controlled Parking Zones were initially unpopular among people who did not see why they should pay to park near their homes. However, safe / legal on-street parking space is a finite resource and as demand for it grew, residents found it increasingly difficult to park anywhere near their homes. Whole streets suffered from pavement parking and parking around junctions endangered pedestrians crossing the road.

My own city invites local residents who live outside residents' parking schemes to request a controlled parking zone by submitting a petition to their ward councillors. There is now competition between neighbourhoods where pressure on parking has swayed opinion in favour of adopting a scheme.

-----© Ted Power