Join me and be a parking hero

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted on here, but today I’m really excited and wanted to share this video we’ve created about my role as a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) – and I got to star in it as well!

So many of you seem to have enjoyed hearing about my job over the last year and I really enjoy my role as a CEO. It gives me plenty of exercise as I’m out and about patrolling my area (although sometimes I use the car as well). I get to talk to local people and visitors, answering general enquiries or providing directions on where to park. When I see someone parking illegally I do need to issue a Penalty Charge Notice, but that’s not what I do all day.

When posts come up, we recruit across Braintree, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow, Tendring and Uttlesford. It can cause a little confusion, but you need to apply through Colchester Borough Council for any of these areas. You can sign up to the ‘Working for the Council’ e-newsletter to get regular updates on jobs within the North Essex Parking Partnership.

I hope that I’ve inspired some of you to apply for a job as a Civil Enforcement Officer and maybe I’ll be working with you in the future.

Myth Buster: Asking for Parking Restrictions

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We get a lot of applications asking us for new parking or waiting restrictions in local neighbourhoods, so I thought it might interest our followers to know more about the process.

There are lots of different reasons why these changes are requested…maybe a drive keeps getting blocked by visiting vehicles or a car parked in a certain place obstructs traffic and causes tailbacks at peak times.

The great news is that anyone can request a parking change, as long as there is sufficient support for it. The application form is online so you can access it 24/7 and all applications are considered with the local Council. Our form leads you through a series of stages, which have to complete before the application can be submitted.

Before you start filling in the form, you’ll need to bear in mind that you will need to:

  • Show that there is a genuine proven parking safety, congestion or social need.
  • It’s a good idea to contact your local Councillor as you will need to upload evidence to show there is local support for the change.
  • If you’re applying for a new residents only parking scheme you will need to show that a minimum of 75% of residents living in the street support the proposed idea.
  • Our Traffic Road Order (TRO) policies are available on our website which give more details on the types of restrictions which may be put in, It’s worth bearing in mind that depending on the size of the request, it can take from 18 months up to a few years before it’s implemented as it has to go through may approval and consultation processes before the change can be made. If you’re thinking of submitting an application and want to read more, visit our website.

Plenty of room in Colchester as Priory Street Car Park reopens

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Happy New Year.  I thought I’d use the first post of 2017 to update you on works to and around car parks in Colchester; Priory Street and St Mary’s.

My colleagues and I at the NEPP were excited to see Priory Street Car Park officially reopened last week after an extensive refurbishment. It now has a high quality surface, improved landscaping and architectural lighting to celebrate the Town Wall that runs down one side of the car park; creating a more attractive area for everyone (see picture above).

Regular users of this car park will also be pleased to hear that the new layout has been designed to improve vehicle and pedestrian access and it has been relined with wider spaces to allow better access for disabled people and people with pushchairs. New ‘pay and display’ machines have been installed, enabling you to pay via your contactless or chip card; these run alongside other cashless payment options including ApplePay, MiPermit online, text and phone, or coin.

The other car park I wanted to quickly mention was St Mary’s. You may have heard that Essex County Council are replacing the footbridge across Balkerne Hill, which has bought in some road closures around the area. I just wanted to reassure our customers that the car park will remain open during these works, but for the duration of the works the slip road from St Mary’s Car Park onto Balkerne Hill will be closed. An alternative route will be clearly signposted via the St Mary’s Fields, bringing drivers onto the Lexden Road roundabout. If you would like to find out more about these works visit Essex County Council’s website

Merry Christmas!

With Christmas just two sleeps away, we’re all feeling very festive here at the NEPP and wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Keep safe and enjoy the celebrations and as it’s a very busy time of year on the roads you may find the following local travel news and advice useful over the coming weeks:

BBC Essex Travel

Essex Highways – Winter Travel

Essex Police – Winter Driving

It’s Christmas Time!

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With Christmas just four days away, we’re all feeling very festive here at the NEPP and wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year – we’ve even come up with a Christmas parking song for you this year:

“With Christmas time being oh so near
And noting the signs indicating don’t park here
We hope you have a happy Christmas and New Year
But please don’t drive after drinking beer”

Keep safe and enjoy the celebrations and as it’s a very busy time of year on the roads you may find the following local travel news and advice useful over the coming weeks:

BBC Essex Travel
Essex Highways – Winter Travel
Essex Police – Winter Driving

Tis the season to be…

…spending time with friends and family. With Christmas next week I’m sure many of you have plans to visit or will be visited by your friends and families over the festive period. For me spending time with your loved ones and getting everyone together is one of the highlights of Christmas.

Residential Street

For those of you visiting friends and family who live in a residents parking zone and are planning to drive there you will need a visitors parking permit (if you’re unable to park your vehicle outside of that zone). Residents who live in these zones can buy virtual visitor permits via the MiPermit system or may have paper visitor permits which their visitors can display in their windscreens. Residents choosing to buy the virtual permits over paper permits will save money too with 10 virtual visitor permits costing £10 as opposed to 10 paper visitor permits costing £15.

Visitor permits can be bought by residents via their MiPermit accounts or by ringing the NEPP office on 01206 282316. If residents who live in these areas aren’t sure how many visitor permits they’ll need over the Christmas and New Year period, I would suggest it’s better to have too many than too few as not being able to obtain a visitor permit or running out of visitor permits are not valid reasons for cancelling Penalty Charge Notices, plus, unused visitor permits don’t have an expiry date so they can be used in the future.

Most of the residents parking schemes across North Essex are located in built-up areas where there are often car parks nearby should visitors wish to park there instead. Car parks across North Essex which are managed by the NEPP are free of charge on Christmas Day and most have some great parking deals on over the winter months too.

If you have any queries about parking permits, please visit our website or contact my colleagues by emailing parking@colchester.gov.uk or phoning 01206 282316, who will be happy to help.

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