Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 14th May 2009
Title of Item/Report
Scrutiny Review of Pavement Parking
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented the findings of the Regeneration & Transport Select Committee following the review of Pavement Parking. During the course of the review the Committee considered a number of issues in relation to the problems caused by pavement parking including damage to pavements, kerbs and verges, and the views of the emergency services.

It was noted that following consideration of the recommendations by Cabinet an Action Plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented, detailing officers responsible for action and timescales.

RESOLVED that: -

1. Ward councillors and officers explore opportunities to use funding allocated under the Community Participation Budget scheme in conjunction with the Council's core budget for pavement repairs when considering applications to implement schemes to reduce damage and obstruction caused by parking on pavements and verges, ensuring funds are used effectively,

2. A priority rating system is devised to identify the residential areas worst affected by parking problems and assess what parking solutions are required in those areas.

3. The Head of Technical Services is requested to provide Members with details of the solutions currently available (including introducing or revoking Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)), to address parking problems in areas where there is significant inconvenience to residents. In addition, request the Head of Technical Services to consider the effectiveness of existing TROs introduced in problem areas.

4. A briefing guide is produced for Members which provides details of the roles and powers of the Council's Enforcement Officers in relation to pavement parking, including statutory and discretionary powers, practical procedures and enforcement action available, and explains and clarifies the distinction between the roles of the Council's Neighbourhood and Civil Enforcement Officers

5. To further improve the safety of the Borough's footways for both pedestrians and road users, highways inspectors undertake sample inspections in known problem areas to determine the actual number of illegal footway crossings and assess damage to the highway. The results of the inspections to be presented to the Committee at a later date for further consideration and to look at providing potential solutions.

6. The current practice of replacing flagstone pavements with bituminous materials in cases where this is the most appropriate form of treatment is incorporated into the Council's highways repairs policy.

7. Introducing a ‘Think B4 U Park' campaign, to be promoted through Stockton News, public libraries, the Council's website, housing estate offices and other community outlets, to raise public awareness about the problems associated with pavement parking and damage to grassed areas, in particular:
• the damage it causes to footways;
• the cost of repairing damage;
• the inconvenience and risk caused to pedestrians, especially to older residents, the visually impaired, those in wheelchairs or mobility scooters and those using prams or pushchairs; and
• emphasising the fact that enforcement action will be taken against offenders, including drivers of heavy vehicles and those who park vehicles on grass verges or whose vehicles traverse over grassed areas, wherever this is possible and practicable.

8. Through the campaign identified in the above recommendation:
• provide clear guidelines where people should and should not park
• encourage drivers to park responsibly
• pilot residential areas with suitable publicity that encourages residents to offer practical solutions
• offer mediation in cases of dispute between parties requiring pavement parking in neighbourhood areas (e.g. in conjunction with UNITE, the mediation service)
• educate people who think they may be helping other road users by parking on the pavement into making them more aware of the potential problems
• encourage commercial vehicles (including Council vehicles where appropriate) to be left at business premises overnight rather than be brought home and parked on pavements in residential areas
• the guidelines provided draw on best practice at other local authorities.

9. Through initial and ongoing training, drivers of Council vehicles are instructed not to park or manoeuvre vehicles on footways wherever possible.

10. Local planning discretion on governing the allocation of garage space and parking requirements when new developments are proposed by private developers is reviewed.

11. The Annual Parking Report provides supplementary information on the problems associated with pavement parking across the Borough with details of subsequent follow up action taken as necessary. Details to be provided include particular problem areas, parking near schools, the number of official complaints made by the public and the nature and level of enforcement activity undertaken including official notices issued.

12. Suitable information is provided so residents know who to contact if they are having problems with poorly parked vehicles (links to the recommendation at paragraph 1.45).

13. The Council supports Help the Aged's National Falls Awareness Day by displaying the official falls day poster in key Council receptions.

14. Highways inspectors and Council Enforcement Officers continue to assess the condition of road markings across the Borough relating to vehicle parking activity.

15. The Council continues to promote its ‘own brand' scheme notification signage to publicise the improvements being made to highways and footways for the benefit of local residents and the general public.

16. Officers approach the Stockton Community Residents Group Association (SCRAGA) to obtain their views on issues related to pavement parking, with a view to advising local residents on possible solutions.
Reasons for the Decision
The request to carry out this review, originally included within the scope of the Highway Network Management review, had first been suggested by Members in 2008 in determining the areas to be considered for scrutiny. As a result, the Executive Scrutiny Committee included this topic in its Scrutiny Work Programme for 2008/09. However, the scrutiny review of Pavement Parking was considered too large to include in the highways review and therefore was undertaken and reported separately.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By Midnight, Friday, 22nd May 2009
Attachment

Date of Publication: 19 May 2009


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