Permit Parking overview with answers to frequent questions

The District Council introduces and manages Permit Parking Zones (or 'PPZs') where parking restrictions are introduced in a several streets, to prioritise parking for residents, local businesses and their visitors.  These are also known as Controlled Parking Zones (or 'CPZs')  You can open maps of roads included in permit parking zones here.

What is a 'Permit Parking Zone'?

Parking on every public road in a Zone is controlled at times shown on the signs, when all parked vehicles must have a permit. Residents can display permits if they want park in the marked bays at times when the CPZ is in force.

Large 'Zone entry' signs display the operational hours to drivers looking for parking. A mixture of yellow lines and parking bays on every part of the road show what parking is available for the various different needs. 

How do Parking Zones work?

Parking Zones operate at different times depending on local parking pressures.

Some Zones are in force all day (such as those in central Rickmansworth). Others only operate for an hour, to encourage all-day commuters to use long-stay car parks.

Details of each Zone are agreed when each one is introduced, following detailed local consultation. The District Council will always try to maximise the number of parking bays on public roads when introducing a Zone, by placing bays wherever it is safe and legal to do so. Bays cannot be marked where parking would cause a risk or would obstruct the free flow of traffic, or where parking would usually be illegal - for example, near junctions.

Parking for non-residents

All residents within a Zone can obtain permits, and there are various kinds of permit for other drivers who need to visit local addresses and have a legitimate need to park on roads in the zone (such as visitors, Doctors or trades services).  Short-stay parking bays are provided to allow people to visit shops and other local facilities.

For other drivers who are not permitted to park in the Zone when it is in force, public parking bays are located nearby (usually either free short-stay bays or Pay-and-display bays), as well as dedicated off-street car parks in some locations.

What does a Parking Zone look like?

Parking Zones are shown by large street signs on both sides of the road at the entrance to each Zone. This removes the need for large numbers of new signs on every line and parking bay. rg-roman-gdns-past-point-f.jpg While parking bays and yellow lines can be used outside of a PPZ, the purpose of a Zone is described in the legislation to be an area where it is not necessary to place a sign on every line for it to be enforceable, to reduce sign clutter.

The signs will tell you:
- What Zone you are in
- The hours when parking is restricted
- At what time waiting (parking) is not allowed on single yellow lines

You will see that:
- The whole length of streets in the Zone are subject to parking controls during specific operational hours
- Parking bays are marked out for the use of permit holders, pay and display parking or other parking needs
- Single yellow lines show where you cannot park during the times when the Zone is in force
- In some streets, bays are not marked, and smaller entry signs show 'Permit holders only past this point' (often in culs-de-sac or Conservation Areas, where we want to minimise road markings). These roads still include yellow lines where parking cannot be permitted.

Permit Parking - answers to frequent questions

Permits and how they work for residents
Parking for other drivers
Permit Zone design and enforcement
How parking schemes are introduced

 1.  What are the benefits of Permit Parking Zones?
Permit parking allows the District Council to prioritise parking for people at local addresses, who need to be able to park close to their home or business.

Some parts of the District including the centres of Chorleywood and Rickmansworth are already in Permit Parking Zones. These Zones, like other parking restrictions, are shown by a mixture of signs and lines and their legal basis is the traffic orders that are created by the District or County Council.

Some drivers (such as local residents whose properties front onto a controlled street) may be eligible to buy a permit to park there.

The demand for limited street parking is managed in this way, by restricting the classes of driver eligible for a permit, but most Zones also include space where other drivers (such as visitors to shops and services) can pay for parking in public car parks or at 'pay and display' bays located near shops and local facilities. 
2.  Would I be able to park outside my house?
Permit parking prioritises parking for people who occupy local addresses so, while we cannot allocate parking to specific addresses, a Permit Zone makes it more likely that you would find parking close to your house (particularly if your road is affected by commuter parking). Permits prevent parking by non-residents who could park elsewhere - for example, in dedicated car parks.
3.   If I have a permit would I be able to park my vehicle in any available “permit only” parking bay?
Permits can be used anywhere within the Zone they are issued to, but each zone tends to be fairly large to allow permit-holders to park easily.
4.   What is the fee for parking permits?
Fees are related to the costs and enforcement requirements that are determined following consultation. In all-day zones, fees are currently £60 for one permit and a second permit costs £110. In zones that only operate for an hour or so, the fees currently cost £30 for one permit and £55 for a second. These fees compare well with private parking which is typically around £1,500 to £2,500 annually. You can view our permit prices here.

Visitor Vouchers
Each household is eligible for visitor vouchers, which cost £1.20 per voucher. There is a half price discount for residents over 60 years of age. Proof of age will be required when applying for the discounted price.

5.    How are Permits issued?
Addresses in each Zone are usually eligible for permits in that Zone (although some, for example new addresses, may not be). The legal document that introduces the Zone (a 'traffic order') sets out who is eligible and cannot easily be changed. Permits are available to residents or for their visitors. Eligible residents can apply for a permit online. For more information about permits in existing Zones, please visit our resident parking permits page which gives details of the service.
6.    How many permits can a resident apply for?
The number of permits each household can hold varies depending on the permit area, but most provide two permits (some only one). This figure is flexible and will be determined by local Councillors as part of the decision-making process. 
7.    Why should I pay to park on my street? Why does Three Rivers District Council charge a fee for parking permits and other tickets?
People with addresses within Permit Zones are charged a small annual fee for permits. This helps to support the costs of introducing Zones that are introduced to prioritise parking in their favour.
Permit parking areas are introduced as a benefit for people at local addresses, as they help people to park near to their address. Residents do not "pay to park in their street" - the permit they pay for gives priority parking to residents, by stopping non-residents from parking near their homes. You can view our permit prices here.
The role played by the District Council in managing parking demand on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council involves introducing new permit parking zones to prioritise parking for local residents, employees and visitors, in that order.

Local Authorities must charge for permits and pay-and-display tickets because the law requires that the enforcement of civil parking areas must be self-financing and not funded by the taxpayer.

As the objective of parking controls is 100% compliance, money from the issue of Penalty Charge tickets cannot be used to fully finance the enforcement of parking restrictions. Ideally, all drivers would park lawfully and responsibly, so there would be no need for any Penalty Charge tickets to be issued. Parking enforcement must therefore be funded from the issue of permits and tickets.

Provision is also made for parking for commuters and other road users where it is considered useful and justified by the evidence. This parking provision is usually made in the form of long stay pay-and-display parking or through restricted forms of season tickets.
In a Permit Parking Zone, residents only require a permit if they want to park on the road at the time when the Zone is operational (often only 1 hour each day).
How are permit prices set?
Permit prices are set for each Zone depending on the amount of enforcement but prices tend to be consistent across the District (see Q4 above).
When are permit prices set?
After the final design for a Permit Zone has been agreed, following several stages of public consultation, the operational cost of that Zone can be estimated - but this is not a factor in the formal decision to introduce a Zone. Permit Parking is only introduced to address parking problems that have been evidenced through consultation and surveys or to manage problems that are expected (for example, due to new developments). Income from parking permits is never a factor in any decision to introduce a parking permit zone.
8.   Is the number of permits issued based on the amount of parking bays? 
The number of permits issued is not related to the parking capacity of local streets. Permit holders can park anywhere in a Zone (not only in the street they live in) and the introduction of a Permit Parking Zone increases parking space for resident permit holders by reducing parking by non-residents. 

Parking demand for permit holders is typically lower during the daytime (when Permit Zones operate) and is expected to rise and fall around the Zone, as people move around during the day.

9.    Are permits linked to car registration numbers or are they freely transferable by the house owner?
Permits are issued to specific vehicles to prevent misuse. 
10.  Would a blue badge ('Disabled parking') bay be kept?
Yes and these would become enforceable. Residents can request enforcement from Hertsmere Borough Council here Three Rivers Hertsmere Partnership parking service.
11.  Would the permits prices apply to people of State Pension age?
The same permit prices are likely to apply to all vehicles.
12.  What about home deliveries, or Medical or Carer visits?
Permit parking controls are intended to make parking easier for local people. They allow permit holders and their visitors to park in parking bays. There are a variety of different parking options to enable legitimate parking to take place.

For example most healthcare firms regularly use ‘Health Visitor permits’ that enable them to park in any Permit Zone. Where yellow lines (called ‘waiting restrictions’) are in place, vehicles must not be parked but could load or unload. 

13.  Do permit parking zones include any “unrestricted parking”?
No, the law does not allow for this; every part of a Zone must be controlled during the Zone operational hours.
14.  Does Permit parking prevent school drop offs / pickups?
If drivers are delivering or if parents stay with their vehicle they would be unlikely to contravene the restrictions but enforcement is usually tailored to the local situation, so for example enforcement officers typically focus on problem parking such as obstruction of school ‘keep clear’ zigzags or parking across driveways.
15.  Where can local business staff park?
All-day parking options are available in off-street car parks in most town and village centres. You can find details here or on many popular websites and apps:  We provide paid long-stay parking (Long Stay Visitor Permits) through annual season tickets in Chorleywood and Croxley Green - more information here.
16.  What about commuters who want to park near to a station or other site?
Private parking is available at rail stations and any proposed scheme will include consideration of charged commuter parking (i.e. on-street pay-and-display) at locations where it does not disadvantage local residents.
In some cases, other options are available, to enable local businesses to use permits to park their vehicles in nearby car parks, or to provide long-stay parking through special permits, where available parking capacity is underused. 
17.  Will driveways/crossovers/dropped kerbs be protected? Why is there a parking bay over my driveway?
Residential driveways have a dropped kerb called a 'crossover' which makes it lawful for people to drive over the pavement to use them. Enforcement of these dropped kerbs is exactly the same in Permit Zones as in any other street. They are enforceable by the District Council or the Police and you can find more information here.
If a permit parking zone is introduced, parking bays will be marked on the road as show on the plans.  Every crossover (dropped kerb for a private drive/garage) will have a white ‘H-bar’ marking across it.
It is standard practice within permit parking areas to mark bays this way, to enable land owners with permits to park legally over their own dropped kerb.
If the dropped kerb provides access to any private land other than yours, this will be marked using yellow lines.
18.  Who enforces parking restrictions and how often?
The District Council’s Parking Enforcement Service Provider is Hertsmere Borough Council, which would determine the regularity of enforcement. 
 19.  What is the penalty charged for parking with no permit?
The parking penalty (a civil penalty, not a fine) is set at £70 for a ‘higher level’ contravention like this (which is defined in law). 
20. How parking schemes are introduced
The District Council sets a two-year programme (the 'Parking Management programme') to investigate requests for new parking restrictions. 
New parking control schemes are progressed following public consultation. Every scheme starts with an initial survey to collect the views of local people and the public on the reported problems; and to determine public support for new restrictions.
We next consult the public on an initial design and then on detailed designs, using feedback from each stage of consultation to shape the proposals, until a final proposed design is published (ahead of the statutory notice required to introduce the necessary legal orders).
At each stage we consult the public and write to people at local addresses. We may publicise our proposals online, using street notices or other channels of communication (such as Residents Associations). We also involve important stakeholders such as the Police, Parish Councils, Bus companies, and Hertfordshire County Council, where proposals are relevant to them.
Our surveys of people at local addresses are intended to collect views and indicate support for proposals, so we are careful to ensure that these surveys are properly reported to help our Councillors to determine how schemes should progress. Our reports only include validated responses (without any anonymous, irrelevant or duplicate responses) from each address and are intended to provide good quality data.
The District Council currently works towards the following four policy objectives delivered by parking management schemes:
  • prioritise convenient parking for those who need it most, where they need it.
  • promote safer, easier, non-obstructive parking provision while improving the local environment and meeting legal requirements
  • promote the needs of all road users, prioritising more vulnerable road users such as people walking and cycling (in line with the Hertfordshire County Council's Local Transport Plan 4); and
  • promote the viability and vitality of local retail and business areas, with better access to local business for customers, visitors and employees

The Parking Management programme only addresses public requests for new parking controls and does not include any schemes intended to address the statutory requirement to ensure that parking management and enforcement is not funded from Council Tax.