Derbyshire council throws out residents-only parking petition plea

A petition for a restricted parking scheme from frustrated residents in numerous streets throughout a Derbyshire town has been rejected.

By Eddie Bisknell, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 2:24 pm

A total of 188 people signed a petition calling for a residents-only parking scheme for Beighton Street, Crossley Street, Heath Road, Ivy Grove, Manvers Avenue, Meadow Road, Moseley Street, Park Road, Park Street, Wall Street and Wood Street in Ripley.

These streets are scattered near Ripley town centre and are not interconnected within one area.

Now Derbyshire County Council has considered the petition and has decided to reject it, although it has agreed to hire a consultant to assess a potential parking scheme for Ripley, along with other areas of Derbyshire, during 2022.

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A petition called for the introduction of residents-only parking on a number of streets

Council officers wrote in a report which is now publicly available that most properties on the petitioning streets are terraced homes with “little or no off-street parking”.

Officers wrote that to consider a residents-only parking scheme for any given area, streets must experience high levels of non-resident parking – such as shoppers or commuters – for long periods of the day.

They write that residents-only parking schemes are not appropriate in situations where it is largely residents who are “competing” for the available on-street parking.

Officers also outline that adopting a residents-only parking scheme “does not guarantee a parking space outside a resident’s property, or even on the resident’s street”.

For example, residents who live on other streets included in the scheme would be entitled to park on any of the included roads – for instance a Mosley Street resident parking in Heath Road.

Officers also warn that area-wide approaches to parking schemes are essential, otherwise parking schemes for specific roads displace issues on to other nearby streets.

They say a residents-only parking scheme must be self-financing – cover all of the costs of the scheme and its enforcement.

At current charging rates for schemes, officers say, “several hundred households would need to sign up to a proposed scheme for it to be financially viable” – with 188 people signing the petition.

Officers say an “overwhelming majority” of residents would need to be on board and willing to pay for a permit.

They detail that permits are currently £35 per year, while a visitor permit is £13 per year and a business permit is £70 per year.

The report says Crossley Street – one of the petitioning roads – has an “access only” order on it which means only people driving to residential properties can do so legally.

However, they say only uniformed police officers have the power to enforce the order.

Council officers added: “such Orders rarely achieve their intended purpose; they are open to misinterpretation and are often ignored, on the part of drivers who are unsure as to their exact meaning”.

They continue: “They tend to raise the expectations of residents and lead to frequent demands for police enforcement.”

As a result, the report says council officers do not recommend the introduction of “access only” orders.

Meanwhile, officers added: “It is unlikely that residents of Crossley Street would be willing to be part of a residents’ parking scheme that would require them to purchase parking permits.”