Agenda item

Digital Parking Permits Pilot Project

A report seeking approval for officer to undertake statutory consultation for an amendment to the Lower Caversham Traffic Regulation Order which will enable the issue of Digital Permits which will not need to be displayed on vehicles.


The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report that sought approval for officers to carry out statutory consultation for an amendment to the Lower Caversham Traffic Regulation Order which would enable the issue of Digital Permits that would not need to be displayed on vehicles.  The Notice of Proposal was attached to the report at Appendix 1, the Draft Order was attached at Appendix 2 and the Scheme Changes were attached to the report at Appendix 3.

The report explained that the change would be piloted for residents and visitor parking permits within the chosen area of Lower Caversham, Zone 02R, including the new Ward boundaries.  The geographical location of the pilot had been considered because it was a well defined and self-contained area, but was a reasonably sized zone. 

The report stated that digital permits worked where the permit allocated to the vehicle was known within the parking management systems and specifically the enforcement system.  No physical permit was required resulting in a more efficient service for residents and reduced service costs through savings in printing and postage.  Residents gained where paperless permits were issued instantly without a delay or break in cover due to delivery of a physical permit.  It had also been found that most local authorities offered greater flexibility in the use of visitor permits where they could be purchased by session rather than defined by a day or part of a day.  Shared experience of digital permits suggested resident and visitor satisfaction was far greater when compared to a paper based system and from an enforcement perspective paperless permits were not compromised by the physical disc falling off the window of the vehicle or visitor scratch cards being used incorrectly.  The changes proposed would mean that:

·         Permits were not printed and posted (residents and resident visitor permits);

·         Scheme no longer required a permit to be displayed in the vehicle (residents and resident visitor permits);

·         Each household would be entitled to purchase in blocks of hours not books, also known as scratchcards (resident visitor permits);

·         Residents would not be asked to allow up to 14 days for these permits to be issued.

Finally, the report stated that procurement of a new Parking Services contract might lead to a change of supplier within the next 12 months and if Digital Permits were to go live across the Borough prior to this a transition plan from the existing system would need to be in place and this would form part of any full rollout plan.

The Sub-Committee discussed the report and concern was expressed that without a physical permit on display it would be difficult to identify vehicles that were parked in the zone without a permit and it was suggested that the facility to enter a vehicle’s registration number on the Council’s website to check if it had a permit could be investigated.

Resolved –

(1)     That the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to undertake a statutory consultation in accordance with the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996, for the proposals contained within Appendix 1 and 2, attached to the report, enabling officers to instruct Legal to proceed in drafting the order, arrange for the notice to be published and allow the 21-day consultation to begin on the day the notice is published;

(2)     That any objection(s) received following the statutory advertisement be reported to a future meeting of the Sub-Committee;

(3)     That subject to no objections being received, the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to make the Traffic Regulation Order.

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