Parking management schemes on local roads in the District - General information

What does Three Rivers District Council do to help people to find car parking locally?

Three Rivers District Council provides over 40 public car parks around the District with over 500 short-stay spaces and over 200 long-stay spaces. It also enforces parking controls on public roads and acts as an agent for Hertfordshire County Council (which is the Highways and Traffic Authority), to manage the introduction of new parking controls in its area.

If you would like to request new parking controls such as permit bays and yellow lines to promote parking for local residents and businesses, please contact the District Council in writing or email to explain the problem and what you would request. You will need to provide your name and address to validate your request.

Requests for new parking control schemes are prioritised and addressed through the annual Parking Management work programme. This programme is set annually and overseen by the Infrastructure, Housing and Economic Development Committee.

New parking control schemes can only be progressed following public consultation. Most schemes are developed through several stages of consultation with people at local addresses, important stakeholders such as the Police, Parish Councils, Residents Associations and Hertfordshire County Council. You can find and comment on current public consultations on parking schemes here.

Other local road improvements by the Local Highway Authority, Hertfordshire County Council

Hertfordshire County Council is the Local Highway and Traffic Authority and is responsible for maintaining and managing most issues on public roads. The District Council cannot introduce measures specifically to address road safety or to improve traffic flow, which are the responsibility of the County Council. 
Any parking restrictions promoted by the District Council will always improve safety and traffic flow, but our schemes are not intended to address them. For example we would always introduce double yellow lines at junctions, which is essential for safety, as part of any scheme to manage parking demand.

What are 'Controlled Parking Zones' (also known as 'Permit parking areas')

These Zones are sometimes called residents' parking (or permit parking) schemes as they prioritise parking for local residents and their visitors.

A Controlled Parking Zone (or 'CPZ') is an area where parking controls are introduced to prioritise the parking needs of residents, their visitors and local businesses. Residents and Businesses in the zone have the option to purchase permits if they want park on public roads when the CPZ is in force. Parking on all the public roads in a Zone is controlled in some way at certain times, typically using a mixture of yellow lines and parking bays.

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 also provided to allow people to visit shops and other local facilities.

The District Council will always try to maximise parking space 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 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 operate 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?

Controlled 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 CPZ, 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
  • When 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. 

How are Permits issued?

Addresses in each Zone are usually eligible for permits in that Zone (some may not be, for example new addresses). Eligibility is set out in the legal document that introduces the Zone (a 'traffic order') and cannot easily be changed.

Permits are available to residents or for their visitors. Other types of permits are avaialble to other essential visitors, such as Doctors and Health visitors.

Longer-term visitors such as builders and tradespeople can apply for parking bays to be kept clear for their use, or for permissions to park on yellow lines.

Why are parking permits needed?

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 controlled 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.

Why does Three Rivers District Council charge a fee for parking permits and other tickets?

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.

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.

Residents with addresses within Permit Zones are charged an annual fee for permits. This helps to support the costs of introducing Zones that are introduced to prioritise parking in their favour.

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.


If you have any questions please contact the District Council at