Late Night and Christmas Shopping Parking Offers

colxmas_0007There’s plenty of Late Night and Christmas Shopping offers right across the NEPP area; it’s one of the things I’m asked about a lot at this time of year!

Most local authorities will have some special parking offers and others have free parking on some occasions. You can find out about these by checking the signage in the car parks (it’s always explained on the machine or tariff board nearby) or check your local authority’s website.

Details of all the North Essex Parking Partnership authority car parks and tariffs can be found on our website here under ‘North Essex Links’.

Priory Street Car Park Update

I’ve just popped back to the office on this lovely sunny day and whilst I’m here I wanted to post something about the temporary closure of Priory Street Car Park in Colchester.

Colchester Borough Council has now temporarily closed its Priory Street Car Park until late 2016 whilst works take place to upgrade and improve the site. Alternative parking is available nearby in Britannia, Vineyard Street and St John’s car parks and information and updates about the closure (including alternative arrangements for permit holders) is available on Colchester Borough Council’s website.

I’m now back off on patrol, but enjoy the rest of your week and the warm weather we’re having.

Bank Holidays and Restrictions

With another Bank Holiday just around the corner, I thought I’d share some information about Bank Holidays and parking and waiting restrictions with you all.

At the NEPP we often get a lot of enquiries from members of the public wanting to know if waiting and parking restrictions apply on a Bank Holiday and many people presume that they don’t apply. However, most parking and waiting restrictions do apply on bank holidays as these are some of the busiest days on the roads and there is still a duty to manage the highways and ensure that roads and car parks are safe and free from congestion. If a parking or waiting restriction does not apply on a Bank Holiday then this will always be clearly signposted.

The other thing to be aware of at this time of year is seasonal parking and waiting restrictions. These are usually found in places which require more parking management during the peak season, such as tourist hot spots. Where these restrictions apply, signs detailing the dates they apply to (like the example below) will exist.

Seasonal Parking Restriction Sign

Please check all the signage before parking or you might return to your car after a lovely day out and find you’ve been issued with a Penalty Charge Notice for parking illegally which I’m sure none of you want.

I hope you’ve all found this useful and have a great bank holiday!

P.S – You may find some of my other posts about Seasonal restrictions and Bank Holidays listed below useful too.

Bank Holidays – just another day?

When could you receive a penalty charge notice?

Seasonal Restriction Results

Easter Parking and Travel

The sun is shining, the daffodils are out and I’ve even spotted a few bunnies over the past week so all the signs of spring are here in the lead up to the Easter weekend. I suspect many of you are looking forward to having a four day weekend and have plans to go out and/or have friends and family coming to stay. To make sure that neither you nor your guests are caught out with a parking ticket, I thought I’d use this week’s post to remind you about bank holiday parking.

It could be very easy to think that on bank holidays parking restrictions may not apply, or may be relaxed; but in most cases they aren’t. There is still a duty to manage the highway, and bank holidays are no exception, especially as they’re often the busiest time on our roads. Most parking restrictions are not relaxed on bank or public holidays and the same rules apply as on any other Monday. Restrictions always apply on bank and public holidays unless signs specifically indicate that they do not. Exceptions are always signposted, so please don’t get caught out!

Some seasonal parking restrictions (such as the below) are also likely to come into force this weekend too.

Seasonal Parking Restriction Sign

There are also lots of events taking place across North Essex over the Easter weekend so the roads and car parks will be busy. If you’re travelling by car in Colchester, please be aware that Brook Street is closed (and will be over the Bank Holiday) whilst Essex County Council works take place. Information about other roadwork schemes taking place across Essex and live travel information is available from Essex County Council’s Highway’s Service Information Centre.

Winter Car Park Offers

As it’s the last week in November many people will be about to have their last pay day before Christmas so will be heading out in their cars to do their Christmas shopping.

2013 Xmas 35

December and January are always the busiest months for car parks everywhere as there are lots of festive activities taking place, late night shopping, January sales and the colder weather (and amount of shopping bags!) means people use their cars more.

Most local authorities will have some great parking offers available at this time of year which drivers can find out about online or on the tariff boards in car parks.

Details of all the North Essex Parking Partnership authority car parks and tariffs can be found on our website here under ‘North Essex Links’.

Park Mark Safer Parking

Park Mark Safer Parking Logo

Park Mark Safer Parking Logo

Some of you may recognise the logo above and will probably have noticed it in some car parks, but do you know what it means?

If you spot the logo above in a car park it means that that car park has achieved the national standard for UK car parks. These car parks have measures in place to ensure people and vehicles are safe and have low crime rates.

A lot of the car parks which the NEPP manages on behalf of its partner authorities have achieved and continue to uphold Park Mark status. It is up to each of the partnership authorities whether or not they would like their car parks assessed.

For those that would like some or all of their car parks assessed, each year they must have their car parks’ management practices and security measures thoroughly assessed by trained police assessors who also visit each one too. If the car parks meet or exceed the required standard set by the British Parking Association, then they are awarded ‘Park Mark’ status as part of the Safer Parking Scheme. Car parks which achieve the ‘Park Mark’ standard display the above logo in each of their car parks.

For further information about Park Mark and to find out which UK car parks have achieved the Safer Parking Scheme standards, please visit: www.parkmark.co.uk

Let’s get digital, digital!

Customer using mobile phone

This week it’s national ‘Get Online Week’ and there are lots of activities taking place across the country to encourage people to go online and to help them use online and digital services.

As part of this national event, some of my colleagues will be on hand in St Mary’s multi-storey car park in Colchester this week to show customers how easy it is to use our cashless parking payment system (MiPermit) and to answer any questions or concerns they may have about using it. Friendly CEOs like myself, will be on hand at the car park today, tomorrow and Saturday helping customers to register and use MiPermit. We’ll also be explaining how customers can top-up their parking while in town, receive a reminder about parking stays and manage an online account.

If this week’s activity in Colchester proves to be a success, the NEPP is keen to roll out the activity in the other areas of north Essex.

Other digital parking-related activity taking place this week is that staff from local organisations such as Essex County Council will be available in Colchester to talk to customers about applying for, renewing and paying for a blue badge online. Online blue badge assistance is available at Colchester Library and Community Hub today 10.00 – 16.00 and at the Crown Post Office, Head Street, Colchester tomorrow (Friday 16 October) 10.00 – 16.00.

If you’re reading this blog, then you’re probably familiar with using the internet, however if you’d like some assistance or advice about using MiPermit or blue badges or know a friend, family member or neighbour who might benefit, then please let them know about the activities that are taking place as we’re always keen to help our customers.

Enjoy the rest of Get Online Week!