We know residents and businesses value parking permit schemes. This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about the changes to parking permits.
No. Currently the cost to introduce, operate and enforce permit parking across the borough is greater than the income it generates. Making the permit parking system self-financing, secures its long-term future. Currently we have over 200 requests for new permit schemes and limited funding to introduce and manage them.
No. If the council maintained a paper-based system then the likely cost of the permits would be higher as it will require more staff to manage.
A parking permit zone is an area where you can only park if you have a relevant parking permit. The number of vehicles on our road network continues to grow and the use of the private car remains a frequent choice. Many historic areas of the borough were constructed before the era of widespread car ownership, resulting in an ever-increasing demand for car parking provision. Permit zones are one of the ways to balance the needs of residents, local businesses and visitors.
If you no longer wish to have permit then you have the option not to renew it. Residents were given the option to request removal of the scheme (if it was not in a pay and display zone), however in no case were sufficient responses received to suggest a scheme should be removed.
Why will residents within pay and display zones now be able to have their first permit free of charge?
The pay and display restriction is consistent with the council’s Parking Strategy and necessary to encourage a high turnover of parking in town centres and busy commercial streets. As many of the properties do not have alternative off-street parking provision, this will provide a cost-free option for on-street parking for the first vehicle in each household. The Tynemouth TM2 Permit Zone is excluded from the arrangement. This zone was introduced later at the request of residents to further encourage high turnover. It only applies to the side of the road without direct residential frontage.
Reducing the charge will benefit residents that require a high number of visitors, such as older and disabled residents. Removing the option of Virtual Vouchers for residents’ visitors aims to make the system less confusing. The option will be reviewed at a later date, when the Virtual Vouchers system is more established and only as an alternative to the annual Residents’ Visitor permit.
Our previous cost estimates had been based on the expectations that some streets would want to withdraw from the permit scheme, following the introduction of the original charges. As none did, this gave us some flexibility to reduce the charges from what was originally proposed.
The current permit system is too complicated; there are 12 different standard permits, different charging levels and seven different types of temporary scratch card.
We are returning to the charge of £250 per year for a business permit that was previously in place. In recent years, the council reduced the cost of the first two permits to £50 with additional permits thereafter priced at £250. However, this has led to complaints that the permits were being used by staff and not for essential operational vehicles. The daily cost of a business permit will be 68p and the weekly cost £4.80. There are more than 1,700 free parking spaces in council-managed car parks across the borough.
The new criteria, agreed by the Council within the Parking Strategy, recognises that some parking provision should be established outside of commercial properties within permit parking schemes. This seeks to accommodate customers and remove the financial burden of having to purchase Supplementary Vouchers. If a business feels the new system will be detrimental to their business, they should approach the Traffic and Road Safety Team. They can request consideration is given to amending the permit restriction in front of the business to create some parking provision for visitors/customers. This is normally in the form of a section of limited waiting restriction to encourage a turnover of parking during the business hours.