Cabinet agrees new plans to manage parking

New plans to manage parking on Buckinghamshire’s streets were agreed by the County Council’s Cabinet yesterday (Monday, 9 July).

They paint a picture of cashless parking, with virtual parking permits replacing expensive paper tickets, and quicker-to-process online applications.

The point, says Mark Shaw, Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member, is that the County Council’s parking management must break even. The Government expects it.

He told Cabinet colleagues the service should become self-financing as soon as possible so that taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill for any deficit.

The Parking Delivery Plan, prioritises reducing the deficit over time through introducing quicker-to-process online applications, virtual parking permits, preparing for cashless parking, along with a review of free limited-time waiting bays.

These, the County Council says, are inefficient, time consuming to enforce, and appeals against penalty charges are often lost through reliance on inconclusive evidence that a vehicle hasn’t moved.

“The aim of the new Parking Delivery Plan is to make things clearer, quicker and more efficient when dealing with parking issues,” said Mark. “Parking management runs at a deficit of around £400,000, and we’re looking to operate more effectively at a break-even point.”

Education and Skills Cabinet Member Mike Appleyard wondered whether the new plan would encourage residents with driveways not to park on the street but Mark said there was no legal requirement for people to park in their drives.

And Children’s Services Cabinet Member Warren Whyte urged caution when reviewing free limited waiting, to ensure the outcome supported local traders.

Resources Cabinet Member John Chilver called for a review of cycleways and footpaths to and from bus and rail stations to encourage people to travel there sustainably, and thus relieving pressure on parking.

The plan envisages an annual review of parking charges, revisions to resident permit eligibility criteria, curfew controls to tackle anti-social parking, touch enforcement against Blue Badge misuse, and options for essential vehicle permits for businesses,

New parking schemes will be designed to tackle problems caused by anti-social and long-term commuter parking, while making the best use of kerb-side space, and will aim to reduce street clutter by positioning fewer signs more sensitively.