Car parking charges in Exeter

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-08-07-54

It’s that time of year when the RAC Foundation release their annual report showing that local authorities make a *profit* from parking operations after income was deducted from overheads – in 2015-16 this surplus was £756m.

Councils across Devon made over £22m from parking charges and fines in the last year – and there has been a big jump in surpluses over the past 5 years.

Devon County Council – as the Local Highways Authority – is responsible for all on-street parking and Residents’ Parking Zones across the county.

Any profit generated by unitary and upper-tier councils from on-street parking must by law [Section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984] be spent on transport-related activities.

In Devon, money generated by the parking service is typically spent on enforcing parking restrictions, maintaining equipment such as pay and display machines, public transport and improving parking areas. The way money is spent is agreed annually by the Cabinet and is published in the annual County Road Highway Maintenance Revenue Budget and On-street Parking Account.

dcc-on-street-parking-account-2016-17
DCC On-street parking account 2016-17

Following lobbying from members sitting on the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] and others, DCC has set up  the HATOC Waiting Restriction Project  – a managed process to deliver an annual programme of works to deal with the requests for waiting restrictions to be introduced or amended that the County Council regularly receives.a Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee. Just this week, DCC advertised a new TRO, 5555 Devon County Council (Various Roads, Exeter) (Control of Waiting & Loading) Amendment Order.

For the current year, DCC achieved a surplus of £2.6m from parking activities – up from £594k 5 years ago.

When parking was decriminalised in 2008, and DCC took over parking enforcement from Devon & Cornwall Police’s Traffic Wardens, on-street enforcement [by Civil Enforcement Officers] and back office administration was provided by the district councils and Exeter City Council working under agency agreements. It was originally anticipated that the enforcement element of the on-street service would operate at or around a zero (‘net nil’) budget with the cost of enforcement being offset by the income from Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) after a period of ‘bedding in’. In reality the cost of enforcement significantly exceeded the income from PCNs, resulting in an annual deficit of £795,160 in 2011/12.

Following a decision by DCC’s Cabinet in December 2013, since April 2014 Devon County Council has provided the on-street service in-house, and it is possible to download how the service has performed during the first two years of operation here:

District councils are responsible for their own local car parks – Exeter City Council has some 29 car parks across the city.

The RAC Foundation report shows that ECC’s surplus for the year 2015/16 was £4.6m [and ranked 39 of the 353 local authorities in England] , up from £3.4m in 2912/13.

Since ECChas not made any wholesale changes to parking tariffs since January 2012, this rise in surplus can be due only to increased usage of the city’s car parks.

The City Council has a net budget of £15m – made up of Council Tax, Government Revenue Support Grant and income from car parking and property.

On a Band D Council Tax bill of £1,600.49, Exeter City Council receives £140.05 [of the balance, DCC= £1,184.39; Adult Social Care = £23.23; Devon & Cornwall Police = £172.84; and Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service = £79.98]. A 1% rise in Council Tax would bring into ECC an additional £90,000 and so to replace the income from car parking would require car parking  charges rise by 51%, or £71 per year.

ECC launched a Parking Strategy in March 2016, and followed this with a revised tariff structure that will come into operation from 2017.

The  proposed tariff structure should provide a more gradual rise in price with a clearer ‘per hour’ rationale. 

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-07-59-03 screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-07-59-18

The new structure also tried to strike a careful balance between supporting the local economy and making sure that people are not encouraged to favour car use over other more forms of sustainable transport – walking, cycling and public transport.

Futher reading:
DCC Cabinet: County Road Highway Maintenance Revenue Budget and On-street Parking Account 2016/17 [13 April 2016]

Exeter HATOC: Proposals for the delivery of an annual local Waiting Restrictions Programme [19 April 2016]

ECC Scrutiny Committee – Economy: Officer’s Report on Parking Strategy 2016 – 2026 [03 March 2016]

ECC Scrutiny Committee – Economy: A New Strategy for Parking 2016 – 2026 [03 March 2016]

ECC Place Scrutiny CommitteeDelivering the Parking Strategy: Tariffs, Designations and Permits  [08 September 2016]

 

 

Devon County Council (Various Roads, Exeter) (Control of Waiting & Loading) Amendment Order

Devon County Council has advertised a Traffic Regulation Order containing a number of new parking restriction across Exeter – with the snappy title Devon County Council (Various Roads, Exeter) (Control of Waiting & Loading) Amendment Order

Statement of reasons
The restrictions are being proposed to resolve minor local issues that have been reported to the Council and considered as part of the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee annual local waiting restrictions programme. Specific details of what is proposed at each location can be found within the deposit documents.

The restrictions are proposed to avoid danger to persons or other traffic using the road or for preventing the likelihood of any such danger arising, for facilitating the passage on the road or any other road of any class of traffic (including pedestrians) and to preserve/improving the amenities of the area through which the roads run.

Draft order, plans & statement of reasons may be seen during usual office hours at the address below in main reception & Exeter City Council Customer Service Centre, Paris Street. Draft order, order being amended & statement of reasons at http://www.devon.gov.uk/traffic-orders from 08 December until 05 January.

Objections & other comments specifying the proposal & the grounds on which they are made must be in writing to the address below or via http://www.devon.gov.uk/traffic-orders to arrive by 05 January 2017. Receipt of submissions may not be acknowledged but those received will be considered. A reply will be sent to objectors if the proposal goes ahead. If you make a submission this will form part of a public record which may be made publicly available.

08 December 2016
Reference IMR/B13560-5555
County Solicitor, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4QD

In West Exe, the plans affect the following streets:

Alphington & Cowick
Introduction of No Waiting At Any Time in specified lengths of: Aldens Road, Barley Farm Road, Barley Lane, Berkshire Drive, Bowhay Lane, Buddle Lane, Corn Mill Crescent Spur leading to numbers 8-20, Corn Mill Crescent Spur leading to numbers 9-25, Corn Mill Crescent, Courtenay Gardens, Courtenay Road, Cotfield Street, Eton Walk, Fairfield Road, Fortescue Road, Gabriels Wharf, Hatherleigh Road, Marsh Green Road North, Percy Road, Southport Avenue, Water Lane and Wheatsheaf Way.

Exwick & St Thomas
Introduction of No Waiting At Any Time in specified lengths of: Addison Close, Ashleigh Mount Road, Barton Road, Brentor Close, Burrator Drive, Church Path Road, Cleve Road, Coventry Road, Cowick Lane, Exwick Road, Farm Hill, Garland Close, Gloucester Road, Guildford Close, Hayes Barton Court, Kinnerton Way, Larch Road, Maple Road, Meadowbrook Close, Medley Court, Moorland Way, Princes Street North Access Road between numbers 14 & 16, Redhills, Rowan Way, Stafford Road, Wardrew Road and Winchester Avenue;

Introduction of Residents Parking At Any Time Zone B in a specified length of Beaufort Road.

More detailed plans for St Thomas

Schedule 1.001 No Waiting At Any Time

Barley Farm Road, Exeter
(i) both sides from its junction with Barley Lane for a distance of 9 metres in an easterly direction

(ii) the north side from its junction with Berkshire Drive for a distance of 8 metres in a westerly direction

(iii) the south side from its junction with Berkshire Drive for a distance of 11 metres in a westerly direction

env5555-057-barley-farm-road

Barley Lane, Exeter
(i) the east side from a point 8 metres north of its junction with Barley Farm Road to a point 8 metres south of that junction

(ii) the south-west side from its junction with Eton Walk for a distance of 15 metres in a north-westerly direction

(iii) the south-west side from its junction with Eton Walk for a distance of 13 metres in a south-easterly direction

Buddle Lane, Exeter
The north-west side from a point 140 metres south-east of its junction with Newman Road in a southerly direction to a point 4 metres north of its extended northern building line of number 50 Buddle Lane including the eastern side of the traffic island

env5555-039-church-path-road

Beaufort Road, Exeter
The north-east side from its junction with Queens Road for a distance of 7 metres in a north-westerly direction

env5555-035-beaufort-road

Berkshire Drive, Exeter
(i) the east side from a point 3 metres north of the boundary of Nos. 28/30 Berkshire Drive for a distance of 15 metres in a northerly direction

(ii) the west side from a point 8 metres south of its junction with Barley Farm Road to a point 7 metres north-east of that junction

env5555-071-berkshire-drive

Bowhay Lane, Exeter
The north-east side from a point 8 metres south-east of its junction with Kerswill Road toa point 6 metres north-west of that junction

env5555-037-bowhay-lane

Buddle Lane, Exeter
The north-west side from a point 140 metres south-east of its junction with Newman Road in a southerly direction to a point 4 metres north of its extended northern building line of number 50 Buddle Lane including the eastern side of the traffic island

env5555-008-buddle-lane

Church Path Road, Exeter
(i) the north-west side from its junction with Barton Road for a distance of 3 metres in a south-westerly direction

(ii) the south side from its junction with Cowick Lane for a distance of 8 metres in an easterly direction

(iii) the south side from its junction with Larch Road for a distance of 3 metres in a westerly direction

env5555-039-church-path-road

Cowick Lane, Exeter
The south-east side from a point 11 metres north of its junction with Parkhouse Road to a point 10 metres south of its junction with Church Path Road

Eton Walk, Exeter
(i) the north-west side from its junction with Barley Lane for a distance of 75 metres in a south-westerly direction

(ii) the south side from its junction with Barley Lane to a point 30 metres west and south-west of its junction with Furze Court

env5555-079-d-eton-walk

Kerswill Road, Exeter
(i) the north-east side from a point 1 metres south-east of the south-eastern boundary wall of 21 Kerswill Road for a distance of 32 metres in a north-westerly direction

(ii) the south-east side from its junction with Bowhay Lane for a distance of 3 metres in a north-easterly direction

(iii) the south-east side from a point 26 metres north-east of its junction with Bowhay Lane for a distance of 23 metres in a south-easterly and north-easterly direction

env5555-037-bowhay-lane

Maple Road, Exeter
Both sides from its junction with Wardrew Road for a distance of 5 metres in an easterly direction

env5555-049-maple-road

Princes Street North Access Road Between Numbers 14 & 16, Exeter
Both sides from its junction with Princes Street North for the entire length of public highway

env5555-067-princes-street-north

Stafford Road, Exeter
Both sides from its junction with Wardrew Road for a distance of 4 metres in a westerly direction

env5555-053-stafford-road

Wardrew Road, Exeter
(i) the east side from a point 5 metres north of its junction with Maple Road to a point 5 metres south of that junction

(ii) the west side from a point 4 metres north of its junction with Stafford Road to a point 4 metres south of that junction

Schedule 6.007 Residents Parking At Any Time Zone B

Beaufort Road, Exeter
The north-east side from a point 7 metres north-west of its junction with Queens Road for a distance of 52 metres in a north-westerly direction

env5555-035-beaufort-road

E&E Letters | No rising costs for bus station

24 November 2016

E&E Letters | No rising costs for bus station

a-bus-station-for-exeter
New Bus Station for Exeter

I need to set the record straight over the story headlined Fears cost of temporary Exeter bus stops will continue to rise [E&E on-line, 14 November 2016].

The first paragraph refers to concern over “the spiraling costs of the redevelopment bus station Exeter Bus Station.”

The concerns are raised by Cllr Percy Prowse, and the claims are completely inaccurate.

So let’s get the facts striaght. There are no spiralling costs over the redevelopment of Exeter Bus Station.

Unfortunately, Cllr Percy Prowse misunderstood the figures given to him ahead of the recent Exeter HATOC meeting/

The same figures were also made available to the Echo.

Allow me to be absolutely clear over this and set the record straight.

The City Council is paying for a brand new Bus Station to be built in Exeter. A budget of £6.25m has been set aside .

Contained within that figure is a budget of £400,000 to cover the costs of the temporary bus arrangements.

These arrangements will enable people to continue accessing bus services in the city centre during the time the current bus station closing next spring and the new station opening in the winter of 2018.

On Monday [14 November 2016], Exeter HATOC approved a budget of £80,000 for the highways works necessary for the temporary arrangements. Despite the inaccurate claim by Cllr Prowse, I can confirm that this figure has not gone up, and is contained within the £400k budget.

The £90,000 he refers to is actually the budget for the temporary bus shelters. Again, this figure has not gone up, and is contained within the £400k budget.

The budget of £400k has not gone up – in fact, it is considerably less than the original estimate for the works.

So where are the spiralling costs? There aren’t any.

Cllr Prowse had these figures explained to him at meeting this week, and now accepts that there are no spiralling costs, or rising costs, of any kind. I hope that the Echo and its readers accept this too.

The new Bus Station will be a huge improvement on the current ageing facility, and worth every penny that is spent on it.

And rest assured, I will make sure that every penny spent on it is carefully budgeted, carefully monitored, and carefully accounted for

Cllr Phil Bialyk
Lead Councillor for Sport, and Health & Wellbeing
Exeter City Council

new-bus-station-01

Further reading:
Exeter City Council [Media release]: Temporary arrangements during the bus station closure [ 20 October 2016]

Exeter City Council [Media release]: Councillors discuss temporary arrangements during bus station closure [09 November 2016] 

Exeter City Council [Media release]: Plans for major redevelopment of Exeter Bus Station move forward [16 November 2016]

ECC Executive: Minutes of Leisure Complex and Bus Station Programme Board – 07 November 2016 [08 December]

ECC Place Scrutiny: Questions from Cllr Percy Prowse to Cllr Phil Bialyk [10 November 2016]

Exeter HATOC: Exeter Bus Station Interim Arrangements [14 November 2016]

new-bus-station-02

 

Devon County Council’s road maintenance programme for Exeter

At the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee held on 14 November 2016, members requested information in relation to the Devon County Council’s road maintenance programme [item 11 of the agenda].

The details for Exeter are as follows:

road-maintenance-01-alphington
road-maintenance-02-duryard
road-maintenance-03-exwick
road-maintenance-04-heavitree
road-maintenance-05-newtown
road-maintenance-06-mincinglake
road-maintenance-09-st-loyes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schemes included in this view

Schemes excluded from this view

  • Schemes still awaiting Asset Approval
  • Bridge Assessment & Strengthening (BAS)
  • Revenue Funded Schemes
  • Pre-patching for 2017/18
  • Road Restraint schemes (RRS)
  • Street Lighting
  • Traffic signals
  • Cycleways
  • Roadmarkings

Glossary

      • Resurfacing – surface treatment with a bituminous material, 40mm or more thick.
      • Patching – surface treatment with a bituminous material, 40mm or more thick but in smaller areas not covering the whole road or footpath.
      • Surface Dressing – surface treatment with bitumen and chippings. Patching will be completed in the year preceding surface dressing.
      • Micro Asphalt – Slurry style surface treatment, typically suited to urban areas. Patching will be completed in the year preceding Micro Asphalt.
      • Joint / crack repair – treats joints and cracks in the existing surface that need sealing prior to a longer term repair in the near future.
      • High Friction Surfacing (HFS) – specialised surface dressing at locations that require higher skidding resistance.
      • Drainage – upgrading, repairs and improvements to highway drainage systems.
      • Footway works – surface treatment to a footpath involving resurfacing or a bituminous sealant, or replacement of concrete flags.

Further details on the programme for the current year requested by are available on DCC’s public web site as a interactive map

There also a list rather than the map, which can sort schemes according to Electoral Division or Market Town [but a few anomalies show up – I don;t think Exminister will take too kindly to being included in the Exeter list!]. This list also shows the current status of each scheme.

 

E&E Letters | Inconsiderate pavement parking – Let’s make it ‘cross-party’

E&E

13 October 2016

Inconsiderate pavement parking – Let’s make it ‘cross-party’

I welcome the recent thoughts of Cllr Peter Holland on the issue of inconsiderate pavement parking [Anger over inconsiderate pavement parking in ExeterE&E, 10 October 2016] as they echo the same comments I’ve been making for the past five years.

Cllr Holland is correct that section 30 of the Exeter City Council Act 1987 did outlaw the practice of parking on footpaths [ie pavements] and verges, and this provision was enforced by traffic wardens under the direction of Devon & Cornwall Police.

exeter-act-1987-cover

section-30-of-exeter-city-council-act-1987

However, Cllr Holland is mistaken in saying “when the responsibility for enforcement of the law was transferred to Devon County Council the law went into ‘decay’.”

The truth is that when parking enforcement was decriminalised in May 2008, those powers transferred to Devon County Council and now Civil Enforcement Officers [CEOs] enforce using powers issued by the Secretary of State for Transport [The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP] under regulations contained within the Traffic Management Act 2004.

And in the rush to transfer powers to DCC, the provisions of the Exeter Act 1987 were missed.

A new power was conveyed by Statutory Instrument 2012 No.12 issued by the Government under the TMA 2004. Within its Schedules, the Statutory Instrument details which restrictions can be enforced by DCC’s CEOs.

statutory-instrument-2012-no-12Civil enforcement of offences in section 30 of the Exeter City Council Act 1987
2. In Schedule 7 to the Traffic Management Act 2004 (road traffic contraventions subject to civilenforcement), in paragraph 4 (parking contraventions outside Greater London), after subparagraph
(2)(e) insert—
“(ea) an offence under section 30(1) of the Exeter City Council Act 1987 (c. xi)(prohibition of parking vehicles on verges, central reservations and footways).”(b)

However, the situation was complicated in that the Department for Transport informed DCC – as the Local Highways Authority – that it would require additional signage, at intervals of around 400m, to enforce the new legislation.

And, of course, there are some roads which would be blocked without pavement parking,

Indeed the P bus – which coincidently serves both my ward of St Thomas and that of Cllr Holland – would be unable to make its way down Barley Farm Road if all the vehicles parked on the road.

If the situation is complicated in Exeter, then it is even more complex nationally.

The only mention of pavement parking in the Highway Code is under Rule 244:
“You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.”

The direction MUST NOT is legally enforceable [under the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 section 15] but should not is an advisory direction, not an enforceable one.

There is little or nothing DCC’s Civil Enforcement Officers can do in this situation – unless the vehicle is causing damage to the pavement, when the driver *could* be prosecuted. In practice, this rarely happen, if at all.

Interestingly [as it pre-dates motorised vehicles], under section 72 of the Highways Act 1837 it is an offence to wilfully [but note, not park] “a carriage of any description upon the footpath.” But this can only be enforced by a warrant Police Officer, who needs to see the carriage actually driving on the footpath – even though to park on the pavement, the vehicle must have been driven onto it.

And it is also an offence under the Highways Act 1980 and also under s.28 of the Town and Police Clauses Act 1847 to “wilfully obstruct free passage along the highway or deposit anything which causes an interruption to, or obstruction of, the highway [including any public footpath or public thoroughfare].

In these cases, enforcement is the responsibility of warranted Police Officers and authorised PCSOs, rather than DCC’s CEOs.

At a meeting of the joint Exeter City Council and Devon CC’s joint Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] held on 28 July 2015 [see minute 119], County Officers expressed confidence that a Private Members’ Bill  being brought forward by Simon Hoare MP [CON, North Devon], which would resolve the whole issue of inconsiderate pavement parking.

exeter-hatoc-minute-119

I wasn’t convinced at the meeting that the Bill would proceed, and so it came to pass that on 08 December 2015, after a debate in the House of Commons, Simon Hoare withdrew his Pavement Parking (Protection of Vulnerable Pedestrians) Bill 2015-16 because he had been promised that “DfT would undertake some work to examine more closely the legal and financial implication of an alternative regime.”

So Cllr Holland’s own Government appears to kicked the issue into the long grass.

I note he hopes to raise the issue when the Minister, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, visits the city later this month.

Let me make this offer – we could make this a cross-party issue and I would be happy to meet the Minister along with him.

Paul Bull
Labour & Co-operative Councillor, St Thomas Ward

E&E | Is Exeter’s allocation of pothole funding fair?

02 June 2016

Is Exeter’s allocation of pothole funding fair?

by Anita Merritt

2015-01-08-10-53-54
A few of the over 200 potholes in Dorset Avenue

Concerns have been raised over the amount of pothole funding Exeter has received compared to other areas of the county.

In April, the Department of Transport announced a Pothole Action Fund to improve local roads and deliver better journeys.

Devon is receiving an extra £1,952,000 in 2016/17 from the fund, which includes roads and pavements.

However, the new figures which have revealed have been criticised by Rob Hannaford , Labour county councillor for Exwick and St Thoma , and a member of Exeter Highways Committee.

He said: “With the very poor state of many roads and pavements in Exeter, any new investment to help clear the massive backlog is welcome.

“However it’s a very real concern that the Exeter funding allocations are amongst the lowest across the county. I view this in the context of Exeter having the busiest most used roads, as opposed to all the other much less used rural residential roads in the country areas, as this is primarily about the non arterial routes.

“For example, all of Exeter’s nine county members gets £108,7222 , yet sparsely populated Holdsworthy, one county member, gets £99,979 , or Bideford South and Hartland, again one county member, gets £92,932.

“If you also look at another districts such as those county ward areas that make up the East Devon area, again their individual allocations per county ward are higher.

“I am sure that many local residents in Exeter who have been coping with bad roads and pavements for many years, who may have had damage to their vehicles, trips and falls, or fallen off bikes, will be very angry about all this, as this new budget was seen a chance to really get things moving forward.”

Pothole Action Fund Allocations
Alphington and Cowick ED £15,769
Ashburton and Buckfastleigh ED £27,926
Axminster ED £68,817
Barnstaple North ED £15,567
Barnstaple South ED £15,041
Bickleigh and Wembury ED £19,525
Bideford East ED £34,658
Bideford South and Hartland ED £92,932
Bovey Tracey Rural ED £39,723
Braunton Rural ED £24,752
Broadclyst and Whimple ED £35,269
Budleigh ED £21,795
Chudleigh Rural ED £37,018
Chulmleigh and Swimbridge ED £31,472
Combe Martin Rural ED £32,331
Crediton Rural ED £29,041
Cullompton Rural ED £29,971
Dartmouth and Kingswear ED £16,055
Dawlish ED £17,747
Duryard and Pennsylvania ED £14,854
Exminster and Kenton ED £28,459
Exmouth Brixington and Withycombe ED £14,704
Exmouth Halsdon and Woodbury ED £17,120
Exmouth Littleham and Town ED £17,311
Exwick and St. Thomas ED £15,803
Fremington Rural ED £16,238
Hatherleigh and Chagford ED £47,400
Heavitree and Whipton and Barton ED £16,051
Holsworthy Rural ED £99,979
Honiton St. Michael’s ED £37,858
Honiton St. Paul’s ED £57,242
Ilfracombe ED £15,116
Ivybridge ED £15,267
Kingsbridge and Stokenham ED £15,567
Kingsteignton ED £15,330
Newton Abbot North ED £16,205
Newton Abbot South ED £15,934
Newton St. Cyres and Sandford ED £68,956
Newtown and Polsloe ED £15,004
Northam ED £18,077
Okehampton Rural ED £33,933
Ottery St. Mary Rural ED £41,918
Pinhoe and Mincinglake ED £15,653
Priory and St. Leonard’s ED £14,880
Seaton Coastal ED £32,301
Sidmouth Sidford ED £15,447
South Brent and Dartington ED £32,350
South Molton Rural ED £55,793
St David’s and St. James ED £14,704
St Loyes and Topsham ED £15,912
Tavistock ED £15,267
Teign Estuary ED £19,000
Teignbridge South ED £29,029
Teignmouth ED £17,469
Thurlestone, Salcombe and Allington ED £19,424
Tiverton East ED £31,738
Tiverton West ED £22,497
Torrington Rural ED £69,117
Totnes Rural ED £22,962
Willand and Uffculme ED £52,518
Yealmpton ED £23,885
Yelverton Rural ED £20,317

APM | Access Protection Markings

APM 2015-11-12 10.01.30
Access Protection Marking in Newman Road

The Highway Code [Rule 243] states DO NOT stop or park at a number of places, including:

  • where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles
  • in front of an entrance to a property

However, some drivers choose to ignore this. It is on these occasions that the Access Protection Markings can act as a reminder to drivers.

Access Protection Markings – APMs – are the H-shapped white lines at placed on the road surface alongside dropped kerbs and seemed to have been first introduced by Devon County Council to tackle the problem. They are now seen as a standard form of marking prescribed in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, which are published by Government.

The Traffic Signs Manual [TSM]  published by the Department for Transport, gives guidance on the use of APM and says that they may be laid on part of the carriageway which should be kept clear of parked vehicles either outside an entrance to off-street premises, or where the kerb is dropped to provide a convenient crossing place for pedestrians.

Access protection markings are advisory markings only and cannot be enforced like regular parking restrictions as there are no legal traffic orders behind them. However, blocking an access, whether there is a line there or not, is classed as obstruction and the police may issue a fixed penalty notice for this.

When access to properties is concerned, it is only legally classed as obstruction if a vehicle is prevented from exiting a driveway. However, the police maydecide to act on any situation of access obstruction.

Although the marking is not legally enforceable, the manual suggests that , if used sparingly, ATMs may be helpful in discouraging inconsiderate parking, particularly where a problem is isolated and a Traffic Regulation Order could not be justified or easily enforced.

 

For more information see figure 22-4 (diagram 1026.1) on page 134 of TSM Chapter 5 – Road Markings 2003.

Screen shot 2016-02-09 at 05.28.44

In order to ensure that this marking is used to maximum effect, DCC have set out qualifying criteria to ensure that ATMs are used only at appropriate locations.

In 2006, DCC policy was:
To provide an Access Protection Marking (APM) at a dropped kerb or other private access, whether vehicular or pedestrian, when there is a recognised problem.

  • At a private vehicle access for a disabled blue badge holder.
  • At a single private access for a number of properties to maintain emergency services vehicular access.
  • At a direct pedestrian access from a property to the carriageway.
  • At a dropped kerb provided for the benefit of pedestrians or wheel chair users.
  • Where there is an overriding traffic management or road safety reason for keeping an access clear.
  • As a part of an overall scheme of waiting restrictions.

Early in 2011, DCC told me that APMs were only nomrmally  being considered where the owner/occupier also holds a disabled parking ‘Blue Badge’, but a case would be looked into on an individual basis where it can be shown there are exceptional circumstances

When the matter of ATMs was discussed at meeting of Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee held on 22 April 2014, where the officers report outlined:

At present an APM may be provided at a private vehicle access used by a disabled Blue badge holder. The applicant should be the Blue badge holder, and normally the driver or regular passenger of the vehicle. The vehicle should be based at the applicant’s property and the driver is also resident.

Alternatively, an APM can be provided if the local highways officer confirms there is a recognised problem at one of the following locations:

  1. ar a single private access for 3 or more premises;
  2. at a direct pedestrian access from a property to the carriageway;
  3. at a dropped kerb or a direct access provided for the benefit of pedestrians or wheelchair uses; or 
  4. where there is an overriding traffic management or road safety reason for keeping an access clear.

The report also states that DCC reserves the right to remove an APM and suggests that each time an APM is considered for remarking [when faded, or after a road has been resurfaced] it must be confirmed that the above criteria are met.

However current guidance on ATMs is outlined on the DCC website and states:
We may provide access protection bar markings when there is a recognised problem: 

  • at a private access for a disabled blue badge holder which has dropped kerb access to a driveway or garage
  • at a single private access for a number of properties to maintain access for emergency services vehicles

Phone 0345 155 1004 if you believe that your property needs markings for one of these reasons.

The cost to place an APM is approximately £80 and the cost is  currently met by DCC’s On-Street Parking budget.

But that might be the case in the future – DCC are looking at an option to charge applicants for a new APM as part of their public consultation on parking for people with disabilities [consultation ends 12 January 2015].

The options include:

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2015-06-09 11.32.00
APM alternative marking v1 in Oak Street
2015-06-09 11.31.15
APM alternative marking v2 in Oak Street

                                          

 

Pavement parking | Some thoughts for today’s Exeter HATOC

Later today, Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] meet at County Hall

One of the items on the agenda is an update on Parking on Pavements.

it will be interesting to hear what will be said because, despite what’s been said and written n recent weeks, to is not necessary an offence to park on a pavement

Some thoughts for the meeting

1) The current legal position
Under s.137 of Highways Act 1980 it is the duty of the highway authority to assert and protect the rights of the public to use and enjoy the highway (the term highway in this instance includes footways = pavements).

It is a criminal offence under HA 1980 and also under s.28 of Town & Police Clauses Act 1847 to wilfully obstruct free passage along the highway or to deposit anything which causes an interruption to, or obstruction of, the highway (including any public footpath or public thoroughfare).

Under s.72 of Highways Act 1837 it is an offence to wilfully drive ant carriage of any description upon the footpath.

And regulation 103 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1985 states that no person in charge of a motor vehicle…shall cause or permit the vehicle to stand on the road  so as to cause unnecessary obstruction of the road. This included vehicles parked on footpaths and contravention of this regulation is a criminal offence and the police can require removal of the vehicle.

Of course, Highway Code rule 244 is clear of the situation in London using MUST NOT, but for the rest of the country the rule is the less forceful SHOULD NOT.

The above begs the question – who is responsible for enforcement in each case? Police (and do PCSOs have any powers in such cases)? Or Civil Enforcement Officers?

And of course, what time and priority should be given to enforcement? To use a phrase I often hear in relation to speeding in 20 mph zones – there must be a  responsible and proportionate approach to enforcement

2) Decriminalised Parking Enforcement
The Road Traffic Act 1991 (c. 40) provided for the decriminalisation of parking-related contraventions, with enforcement
carried out by civil enforcement officers, operating on behalf of a local authority

However some parking offences can still be enforced by the police, as outlined by this report on Civil Parking Enforcement: New Responsibilities that was considered by Devon County Council’s Executive on 17 October 2006

On the 5 May 2008, responsibility for on-street parking enforcement in Devon passed from the police to local authorities and traditional traffic wardens were replaced by new Civil Enforcement Officers

But at this time the Exeter Act 1987 was not repealed and so I believe that parking on the verge or footway of an urban road is still a CRIMINAL offence enforceable by a police officer.

3) Traffic Management Act 2004 (Amendment of Schedule 7) (City of Exeter) Regulations 
Even after all my previous research and the numerous discussions held at Exeter HATOC, I have just come across a Staututory Instrument, the Traffic Management Act 2004 (Amendment of Schedule 7) (City of Exeter) Regulations 2012, which came into force on 30th January 2012.

There is also this Explanatory Memorandum to Traffic Management Act 2004 (Amendment of Schedule 7) (City of Exeter) Regulations 2012 [2012 No.12].

It appears that these Regulations amend paragraph 4 of that Schedule (parking contraventions outside Greater London) by adding to the list of such contraventions the offence under section 30(1) of the Exeter City Council Act 1987 of parking vehicles, other than certain heavy commercial vehicles, on verges, central reservations and footways.

4) Freeing pedestrians from pavement parking blight
In Feb 2011, Norman Baker sent a letter to all local authorities telling them to use their powers to prevent parking on the pavement where it is a problem. [ DfT News Story: Freeing pedestrians from pavement parking blight, 21 February 2011]

norman-baker-letter-on-pavement-parking-1

norman-baker-letter-on-pavement-parking-2

What was DCC’s response to this instruction?

5) Pavement Parking (Protection of Vulnerable Pedestrians) Bill 2015-16
Recent updates  to Exeter HATOC have talked about the progress of a Bill through Parliament – this was a Private Members Bill presented by Martin Horwood who came last of 20 in the 2014 ballot. The Bill never made any Parliamentary progress, not even having the Second Reading in the House of Commons , despite appearing on the Order Paper twice.

Simon Hoare – just up the road in North Dorset – came 10th of 20 in this year’s ballot.

Is there any information that would suggest this PMB will make further progress?

One of the problems of problem I forsee if Simon Hoares’ Private Members Bill does make it onto the Statute Books is that following enactment any permitted pavement parking would need to be authorised by an expensive TRO.

In Cowick there are already exemptions for Sussex Close and Wiltshire Close, but I can see TRPs being needed for pavement parking along Barley Farm Road just so that the P bus can make its journey towards the city centre unhindered.

And what about Merrivale Road? And so on.

So the isn’t going to be the silver bullet we all hope it will be.

6) Partial pavement parking
We know around all our divisions that some roads would come to a halt if pavement parking wasn’t possible.

I can list Sussex Close and Wiltshire Close that allowed partial pavement parking under Exeter Act 1987.

But without partial pavement parking, the P bus cannot make progress down Barley Farm Road. And Merrivale Road would be almost impassable.

So we have a problem.

We have be able to allow partial pavement parking – but in a way that doesn’t make the pavement an obstacle course for people with mobility issues, have visual impairments and parents using buggies and pushchairs.

Under the Exeter Act its quite easy for HATOC to agree an exemption for those narrow closes and cul-de-sacs (for many around the city those are in place, but we can all think of others).

But to deal with the major routes, it’s probably going to be necessary for a TRO, signs and lines to be put in place to ensure pedestians can pass without obstruction.

Slough have recently put this into practice – has this done under the provisions of Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 3 (Regulatory Signs 2008) p73 which shows the painted partial parking bay (diagram 1028.4) with accompanying signs (diagrams 667.1 and 667.2) with all the costs advertising TRO etc or by some other means?

7) Damage of grass verges
Highways Act 1980 s131 makes it is an offence to damage a highway (including a footpath) without lawful authority or excuse and can be punishable by a claim for criminal damages.

And in Blackpool, CEOs are issuing PCNs for damage to grass strips.

Have DCC given any thought to this? If DC are required to carry out remedial work due to damageto grass verges or footways, can they seek to recover any expenses incurred and prosecute persistant offenders?

8) Advisory Enforcement Notices
At Full Council on 23 July Cllr Hart in a written reply to a question from Cllr Percy Prowse [Question 13] mentioned advisory enforcement notices?

What are these?

And how will these be used?

Are the police on-board with this?

Is there to be a publicity campaign?

9) How has review of Traffic Signs & Generla Directions affected progress?
I understand that the situation in Exeter has been complicated by the long-running review of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 and subsequent amendments.

TSRGD 2002 proscibes what road signs are needed and where they should go for every traffic regulation.

Without suitble regulations in place (and DfT not making decisions in their absence) on signage for Exeter Act 1987, I’m guessing the issue is about legality and risk of prosecution, with people more likely to challenge a parking fine.

I’m assuming that at a time when council budgets are being cut, an extremely cautious approach has been adopted?

And since the draft version has been consulted on, is there an estimate when the TSRGD 2015 come into force?

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FOI Request 3216696 | The cost of a Traffic Regulation Order

Over the past 4 years  as a councillor, I have spent a couple of years on and off sitting on Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC].

The remit of Exeter HATOC is set out in Part 3 of Devon County Coucil’s Constitution.

Under the terms of reference 9.17, Exeter HATOC has the power – within the general strategy, polices and operating procedures of DCC – to exercise various powers of the Highway Authority delegated by the Cabinet, including:

(3) To approve details and implement Traffic Regulation Orders, and schemes for the control of parking on the highway and to be involved in the development of proposals for park and ride schemes.

A Traffic Regulation Order [TRO] is a written legal document made under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and all other enabling powers, by the Local Authority under its powers as a Highway Authority to support any enforceable traffic or highways measures including: speed limits, on-street parking, one way streets and other restrictions.

Failure to comply with the requirements of a TRO , as indicated by signs or road markings, is an offence that may result in the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice, by a Civil Enforcement Officer, or prosecution by the Police.

Most traffic regulation orders come about as a result of input from local communities and the police, to address specific traffic congestion or quality of life issues.

The Order Making Process
A formal TRO requires a statutory procedure to be followed. This includes:
1. Consultation – Following the completion of the design, consultation must be undertaken. This will require obtaining the views of Local Councillors and Parish Councils (where appropriate), the Emergency Services and sometimes other institutions such as The Freight Transport Association, The Road Haulage Association and local public transport operators. Local interest groups such as residents, traders and community groups who are likely to be affected by the proposals may also be consulted where appropriate. The proposal could then be amended following consultation.

2. Advertisement of the TRO then takes place. This includes at least one notice in the local press. DCC will usually display notices in any roads that are affected and, if it is deemed appropriate, may deliver notices to premises likely to be affected. For at least 21 days from the start of the notice the proposal can be viewed at a nominated council office during normal office hours. Objections to the proposals and comments of support must be made in writing to the address specified in the notice or submitted online during this period. Substantial objections and contentious issues are then reported to and considered by Local Councillors. When considering the objections they must decide whether to (a) allow the scheme to proceed as advertised, (b) modify the scheme, or (c) abandon it.

3.Making the Order – The TRO can then be formally sealed providing all standing objections have been considered. Modifications to the proposals resulting from objections could require further consultation. This procedure can take many months to complete and the advertising and legal fees can be substantial. For this reason schemes requiring a TRO normally need to be included in the annual Capital Programme and cannot be carried out on an ad hoc basis.

Occasionally temporary orders or experimental orders are introduced which require a slightly different process which still gives people an opportunity to put forward their views.

Temporary Orders may be used when works affecting the highway require short-term traffic restrictions.

Experimental Orders are used in situations that need monitoring and reviewing. These usually last no more than eighteen months before they are either abandoned, amended or made permanent.

Parking TROs
In May 2008 Devon County Council took over responsibility for the enforcement of parking restrictions and to assist with this all parking restrictions were consolidated into one countywide TRO.

Changes to this consolidation order are made through amendment orders. These amendment orders can change the articles (legal definitions of the restrictions) and/or the schedules (location descriptions).

See more at: http://www.devon.gov.uk/traffic-orders.htm#sthash.RGSXhXO9.dpuf

To search Devon County Council traffic orders and  make a comment about a traffic order please use the online traffic order search.

At Exeter HATOC, we are alway being told how expensive it is to draw up a Traffic Regulation Order and so I made the following Freedom of Information Request to Devon County Council:

I am interested in the component parts of drawing up a TRO and then implementing it

I realise that these costs will differ for different scheme, so I would like a such breakdown to look at a specific example of
Devon County Council (Various Streets, Exeter) (Control of Waiting) Amendment Order 2014

I would be grateful if the breakdown could include:
1) officer time drawing up the scheme

Officer time has not been recorded on this scheme but below is an example of charge-out rates for staff working on TROs.

Technician Range E                        £31 per hour
Senior Technician Range F          £37 per hour
Senior Officer Range H                 £48 per hour

The above rates for small non-complicated TRO (approx £700). If Committee reports and presentations are required then costs will rise accordingly.

2) costs involved with advertising the scheme

£764.49

3) costs involved with signage and painting yellow lines

£1,257.24

Screen shot 2015-07-26 at 19.04.20
FOI Request 3216696 | The cost of a TRO

Exeter HATOC | Pavement parking

Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] meets on 28 July 2015 and once again is set to discuss the issue of pavement parking

10. Update on Parking on Pavements

In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen has requested that the Committee consider this matter

Presentation by the Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste

Electoral Division: all in Exeter

When Devon County Council took over parking enforcement on 08 May 2008, there wasn’t time to transfer the provisions of the Exeter Act 1987 at the same time.

Since then parking on pavements has been a constant feature on Exeter HATOC’s agend

02/02/12

9. Parking on Pavements and Enforcement
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen has asked that the Committee consider this item

Report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management ( HTM/12/4 – text only | pdf ) (Page 23) on details of the relevant Act and enforcement.

Electoral Divisions: All in Exeter

*118. Parking on Pavements and Enforcement
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen had asked that the Committee consider this item)

The Committee noted the report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management (HTM/12/4 – text only | pdf ) on proposals for the County Council to take over parking enforcement from the Police (decriminalisation) regarding provisions within an Exeter City Council local Act implemented in 1987 in respect of prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways.

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that the Department of Transport has now published a Statutory Instrument that amends the schedules in the Traffic Management Act 2004 to decriminalise prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways in Exeter City. The County Council would now check that the signs indicating the restricted areas and publicise that the provisions would now be enforced by Civil Enforcements Officers (and not the police). Current exemptions where permitted would still be applicable.

It was MOVED by Councillor Hobden, SECONDED by Councillor Leadbetter and
RESOLVED that this development be welcomed and that the new provisions be implemented as expeditiously as possible following appropriate consultation and publicity.

19/04/12 

10.  Implementation and Enforcement of Parking on Footways and Verges
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Macdonald has requested that the Committee consider this item.

Electoral Division: All in Exeter

*132 Implementation and Enforcement of Parking on Footways and Verges
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Macdonald has requested that the Committee consider this item).

(Councillor Bull attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that a review of the signage and their replacement was underway. Implementation of the new enforcement powers by the County Council (through the Civil Enforcement Officers) was planned for September 2012. Exemptions would be permitted under the regulations.

The Committee noted the position.

08/11/12

16. Various Highways Matters
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Bull has requested that the Committee consider the following items:
(b) Update on the pavement parking situation.

*162. Highways Matters
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Bull had asked that the Committee consider the following items):
(b) Update on the pavement parking situation.

Although arising from a by-law from Exeter City Council, Devon County Council – as highways agency – are responsible for signage, etc. DfT have advised that additional signage is required (at intervals of around 400m) – how has this changed from the situation prior to 2008 change of parking enforcement operation? It is NOT a TRO matter but I’ve been advised that we should discuss a scheme for members to add additional exemptions to those that already have such exemptions (like Sussex Cl and Wiltshire Cl in Cowick).

The Head of Highways and Traffic Management reported that detailed discussion between the County Council and the Department of Transport were continuing. In the interim any suggested exemptions proposed by Members should be referred to the Exeter Neighbourhood Highway Team (Devon County Council) to assess.

22/07/14

10. Parking on Pavement
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen has requested that the Committee consider this matter.

Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste to report.

Electoral Divisions: All in Exeter

*71 Parking on Pavements
(Councillor Bull attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen had requested that the Committee consider what action could be taken to reduce parking on pavements.

The Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste reported that following consultation with the Department for Transport he was developing proposals and options, in consultation with other local authorities and industry associations, to enable enforcement of parking on pavement restrictions whilst still maintaining, as appropriate, exemptions in respect of the more narrow and congested urban roads.

It was MOVED by Councillor Owen, SECONDED by Councillor Prowse and
RESOLVED that a report on proposals relating to enforcement of parking on pavements restrictions be presented to the next meeting of this Committee.

10/11/14

8. Parking on footways
Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste to report.

Electoral Divisions: All in Exeter

*82 Parking on footways
The Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste reported on the Pavement Parking Bill 2014-15 proceeding through Parliament to make provision for the safety, convenience and free movement on pavements of disabled people, older people, people accompanying young children, and other pavement users; to clarify, strengthen and simplify the law relating to parking on pavements in England and Wales; and for connected purposes. It was anticipated that the Bill would also cover inappropriate parking on verges. The County Council had made representation on this matter to the British Parking Association and the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) who would be consulting with other local authorities to ascertain best practice on how to deal with this matter in the interim.

Pending statutory and best practice guidance the County Council would not be proposing any policy changes but that a report would be submitted to Cabinet on future options at the appropriate time.