Argyll and Bute Council introducing a draft parking policy framework

Published Date: 

22 Aug 2014 - 10:40

Members agreed at yesterday’s Policy and Resources Committee to endorse the draft parking policy

This new policy aims to ensure consistency in regard to parking policy across the council area, while recognising the specific needs of our different administrative areas.

Members also agreed to a formal process whereby area committees can review local traffic regulation orders (TROs), effectively giving local members control of parking issues, within the broader parameters of the Argyll and Bute parking framework.

Members recognise that a ‘one size fits all’ approach would not work in Argyll and Bute, with its huge area and diverse local needs. As such, the policy formalises the arrangement whereby TROs are within the power of area committees, allowing parking to be managed at a local level. If an area committee was minded to change the existing charging arrangements or to introduce new charging arrangements this would have to go through the council’s executive committee process, as is normal practice.

The parking policy effectively formalises what is already reflected in current custom and practice, providing the council with an overarching framework for the provision and control of parking across Argyll and Bute, where none previously existed.

Following the approval at yesterday’s (Thursday 21 August) committee meeting, area based proposals will be developed through member workshops and area committees over the winter. Local members will consider a number of factors such as the level of provision, the extent of charged and free spaces, the distribution of available parking as well as local nuances.

Following these local proposals will come a period of stakeholder consultation, the range of which will depend on the outcome of the member workshops and the amount of change proposed to the current arrangements.

Area committees will then formalise the proposed changes to TROs and confirm the implementation timeline, with the finalised policy then being taken to the full council for adoption.

The council’s parking strategy is aimed at increasing the parking turnover in our town centres, which in turn supports the local economy - ensuring that there are spaces available for people to park and access local shops.

To ensure this parking turnover the council has recently taken on the responsibility for the enforcement of parking regulations across the Argyll and Bute. We have employed new amenity wardens who patrol all areas of Argyll and Bute where parking restrictions are in force. These include, but are not limited to, areas with yellow lines, pay and display bays, loading and unloading areas, disabled bays, limited waiting areas and off-street parking areas.

Vehicles caught parking illegally are now issued with a penalty charge notice (PCN). In line with national guidelines, the PCN is set at £60, to be paid within 28 days. If paid within 14 days, the charge is reduced to £30. If unpaid, the charge increases to £90. Unpaid PCNs could result in the council instructing sheriff officers to pursue recovery of the debt, which may incur additional costs.

The policy also aims to improve road safety, manage traffic effectively and to encourage a shift towards more eco-friendly transport means. This policy sits within the council’s policy context, supporting the outcomes of the single outcome agreement (SOA): sustaining the viability of our town centres, encouraging healthier lifestyles and reducing traffic congestion.

The draft parking policy is available at:

http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s91172/Parking%20Policy%20Framework%20-%20July%202014.pdf