Permit Parking - Overview and Frequent Questions
What is a 'Permit Parking Zone'?
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 see roads in permit parking zones here.
Parking on every public road in a Zone is controlled at times shown on the signs, when all parked vehicles must have a permit.
These controls include a mixture of yellow lines and parking bays on every part of the road, with large 'Zone entry' signs at every entrance to the Zone.
Residents can purchase permits if they want park in the marked bays at times when the CPZ is in force.
There are various kinds of permit for other drivers who have a legitimate need to park on roads in the zone (such as visitors, Doctors or trades services, who need access to local addresses).
For other drivers who are not permitted to park in the Zone when it is in force, there are public parking bays located nearby (usually either free short-stay bays or Pay-and-display bays), or they can use dedicated off-street car parks.
Permits are also available to people who need to visit local addresses, including doctors, health visitors, or services such as builders or other trades firms). Short-stay parking bays are provided to allow people to visit shops and other local facilities.
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
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.
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, which reduces the clutter of new signs on every line and parking bay. 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 (for example, from 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday)
- Parking bays are marked out for the use of permit holders, pay and display parking or other parking needs (typically short-stay parking bays, loading bays or taxi ranks).
- Single yellow lines show where you cannot park during the times when the Zone is in force
- Zones may have different operational hours when they are in force and may have different time restrictions for different parts of the Zone.
Permit Parking Zone questions:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Would I be able to park outside my house?
Permit parking prioritises parking for people who occupy local addresses, so if your road is affected by commuter parking then a Permit Zone makes it more likely that you would find parking close to your house. Permits prevent parking by non-residents who could park elsewhere (for example, in dedicated car parks).
5. If I have a permit would I be able to park my vehicle in any available “permit only” parking bay?
This depends on the size of any Permit Zones that are created. Permits would only be eligible within one Zone, but each zone tends to be fairly large to allow permit-holders to park easily.
6. Would the new measures 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.
7. 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: www.threerivers.gov.uk/carparks. We provide paid long-stay parking (Long Stay Visitor Permits) through annual season tickets in Chorleywood and Croxley Green - apply here.
8. What about home deliveries or regular visits from Health visitors or Carers?
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.
9. What would be done to assist commuters who want to park near to a station or other destination?
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.
10. How is the number of parking bays related to the number of permits issued?
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.
11. Within the permit parking zone would there be any “unrestricted parking” areas?
No, the law does not allow for this; every part of a Zone must be controlled during the Zone operational hours.
12. Who would police the new parking restrictions and how frequently would this be done?
The District Council’s Parking Enforcement Service Provider is Hertsmere Borough Council, which would determine the regularity of enforcement.
13. I am a person of State Pension age or over. Would the permits prices apply to me?
The same permit prices are likely to apply to all vehicles.
14. What is the amount of the fine for a non permit vehicle in the controlled zone?
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).
15. Would I retain my blue badge ('Disabled parking') bay?
Yes and these would be formalised so that they are enforceable.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Why does Three Rivers District Council charge a fee for parking permits and other tickets?
The role played by the District Council in managing parking demand on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council usually involves introducing new permit parking zones to prioritise parking for local residents, employees and visitors, in that order.
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.
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 longstay pay-and-display parking or through restricted forms of season tickets.