Clerk: Simon Weaver
71 Main Street, Thringstone
Coalville LE67 8ND

The Problem

Insufficient on street parking spaces

The issues

Car ownership has grown over the years with a current average of around 1.2 cars per household. Housing in the Parish date from pre Victorian times onwards. Some houses have no provision for off street parking and no space to provide any. More recent houses may have some provision for off street parking but frequently it is inadequate for the number of cars owned by residents.

In a number of streets there are insufficient on street parking places to make up for the shortfall in off street parking. The number of on street parking places is also reduced by parking restrictions that are needed to ensure through access by all vehicles, including emergency vehicles.

Parking on pavements is also a problem in some places. This restricts access for pedestrians, particularly if they have buggies, and wheelchair and mobility scooter users.

The legal situation

Anyone can park at the side of a highway, but not on pavements, as long as they are not causing an obstruction to other users of the highway subject to any restrictions that are put in place by the highways authority (which is the County Council within this parish). No one has the right to park in a particular place on the highway.

The planning authority (generally the district council) can require developers to provide a minimum number of off street parking place. What that minimum is is set by legislation enacted or approved by parliament. Many would argue that the current minima favour the developers and are inadequate for current and projected levels of car ownership.

A local authority can develop a Parking Policy such as the one adopted by Birmingham City Council (see here). This enables planners, for instance, to require developers to provide adequate parking spaces.

The Parish Council has no responsibilities for parking but it does have the authority to provide off street car parks. The cost of these would have to be met by parish ratepayers apart from revenue, if any, from car parking charges and any grants if they could be obtained.

Parish Council Policy

The Council liaises with the district and county council and councillors to try to alleviate problems with parking.

Possibilities

  • Collective action

Residents on a street or in an area can organise to try to find and action ways to alleviate parking problems.

Pro:

Those people affected can get together to do something about the problems.

Residents may be in good positions to help make the best use of off street parking.

Con:

Residents do not have any statutory authority other than over their own properties.

  • Removing parking restrictions

Pro:

This can create more on street parking.

Con:

The restrictions are generally in place to stop the road being blocked, for safety reasons and because residents have requested them.

  • Residents' parking schemes

These schemes restrict parking to residents only for part or all of the time.

Pro:

These schemes can free up on street parking for residents' use.

Con:

The schemes do not create any more on street parking spaces and only help if there is a significant amount of on street parking by non residents.

The schemes do not guarantee anyone a particular parking space.

The costs of administering the schemes are met through residents having to pay for parking permits.

  • Make better use of off street parking

Encourage everyone who has provision for off street parking to use it and everyone who has space for more off street parking to put it to this use. Encourage everyone who has space or provision for off street parking that they do not need to make it available or renting it to others. Parking spaces can be shared using one of the parking sharing web sites such as JustPark.

Pro:

Takes away some of the need for on street parking.

Con:

May be difficult to organise.

Means residents allowing someone else to use space on their property.

  • Make use of private car parks

Negotiate with businesses that have their own car parks to make spaces available or rent spaces out to residents for some or all of the time.

Pro:

Takes away some of the need for on street parking.

Con:

Businesses may need all of their spaces at certain times of day.

  • Provide additional car parks

Pro:

Takes away some of the need for on street parking.

Con:

Needs land to be available in suitable locations.

Expensive and the costs would have to be met by parking charges or, if the Council provided car parks, by ratepayers in the Parish.

  • Herringbone parking

Provide for cars to be parked diagonally along the road side.

Pro:

This can create a few more on street parking spaces.

Con:

The street needs to be wide enough.

Expensive to set up and the County Council may not have the funds available.

Pedestrians and vehicles have equal priority in using the highway. Kerbs, road surface markings, traffic signs and so on are removed.

Pro:

Would free up extra on street parking spaces as separate pavements would not be needed.

Likely to slow down traffic and reduce accidents.

Con:

Expensive to set up and the County Council may not have the funds available.