3 October 2013

Parking Annual Report

Waiting lists halved or eliminated, fewer tickets issued and a reduction in operation costs are some of the details included in the latest parking annual report, which will be discussed by the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on 8 October.

Over the past three years, waiting lists for residents’ permits in the central area have almost halved, from 1,260 to 646. The limit on the number of trader permits has been lifted which means there is no longer a waiting list for these permits, with the result that there are now 1,085 trader permits on issue, up from 777 in 2011/12.

In 2012/13, civil enforcement officers gave out 114,000 penalty charge notices, the second lowest number to be issued since the council took over parking enforcement in 2001.

The cost of parking operations has reduced by more than £400,000.

Over the last financial year the council issued more permits to businesses (1,662 up from 1,417), carers (2,190 compared with 1,980), schools (148 from 128), and nearly three times as many electric vehicle permits (45 in 2012/13, 25 2011/12 and 18 in 2010/11).

Three new residents’ parking schemes came on-stream; Area C extension (Canning Street and Richmond Heights, extension to Area J (London Road North) and the Amex Community Stadium match day parking scheme.

Brighton & Hove’s parking annual report, established five years ago to highlight best practice in providing public information, contains statistical details of parking operations and finances. It shows how parking operations in the city aim to balance demands from residents, businesses and visitors to enable economic growth and keep the city moving.

The report also details where the money goes and how any surplus is re-invested back into local transport. The 2012/13 surplus of £10.9 million has mostly been spent on free bus passes for older and disabled people and supported bus routes.

Councillor Pete West, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “The report shows how the council is responding to people’s needs as well as providing value for money.

“Following consultation with residents we’ve also introduced three new parking zones and taken forward suggestions put forward as part of the citywide parking review, including dedicated blue badge spaces, trials of enforcing pavement and verge parking and the option of paying for parking by phone. The citywide parking review was the most extensive ever carried out with nearly 2,000 residents, businesses and visitors taking part.”

The council has also made it easier to connect with parking services online with the result that over 40% of people now renew their permits this way and most people use the online facility to appeal.

A common reason for appeals is when drivers do not notice that a space has been suspended when they parked. The council successfully applied to the government for permission to use larger signs and this is already having an effect, with the number of tickets issued for this reason falling by nearly 250 despite a slight increase in the number of suspended parking bays.

There are now 27,628 on street parking spaces (compared with 25,213 in 2011/12) and 2,490 off-street spaces in council-run car parks.

Read the reports for the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee here (the Parking Annual Report is Agenda item no. 27)