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
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.
I hope you all found last week’s post interesting and it gave you a bit more idea of the many tasks the NEPP carries out across north Essex.
This week, I thought I’d write about cashless car park payments as St Mary’s car park in Colchester became pay and display and introduced cashless parking last week. St Mary’s is the last of Colchester’s Borough Council’s car parks to introduce this meaning you no longer need change to pay for its car parks. Colchester is the latest NEPP authority to offer cashless parking in all of its pay and display car parks following Braintree, Epping Forest and Uttlesford.
For those not already using cashless, the cashless payment facility across north Essex is available through MiPermit. To use the MiPermit system, simply set-up of a free secure MiPermit account online and then pay for your parking via the MiPermit app, online portal, text or phone call. Plus you’ll never have to worry about finding loose change for that car park again and if you’re running late returning to your car, you can extend your payment at the touch of a button and avoid having to rush back to your car.
When you use MiPermit you don’t need to display a paper ticket on your dashboard as I and all my fellow NEPP CEOs carry hand-held devices which tell us whether drivers have paid for their parking.
With a mini heatwave predicted for the week ahead, I expect the roads and car parks will be busy with people wanting to get out and about and make the most of the lovely summer weather whilst it lasts! I’m sure the coast will be busy this week and today sees the start of the two week-long Summer Screen in Colchester Castle Park which I’m sure will attract a big crowd, especially with the live Wimbledon matches being shown. What great weather for it!
Whilst I’m working all week, I’ll still be able to enjoy the sunny weather as I’ll be out patrolling every day this week and being outdoors is something I really love about my job – I just need to make sure I apply my sun screen regularly! We have lots of beautiful places in north Essex, including the coast, parks, countryside and vibrant town centres, all of which I get to work in and enjoy as part of my job as a Civil Enforcement Officer.
The bank holiday weekend is over, but I suspect many of you may have the entire week off due to half-term, in which case I’m sure lots of you will be making the most of it and visiting places in your car. Some of you may be thinking about visiting Colchester and trying out the new Park and Ride that has recently been introduced.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending a bit of time in the NEPP’s office and have been really surprised by the number of telephone enquiries the NEPP is getting about Colchester’s new Park and Ride scheme. The NEPP isn’t involved with the Park and Ride scheme and any enquiries about it should go to Essex County Council who are responsible for, and are operating the scheme. If you would like further information about Colchester’s new Park and Ride, you may find the following links useful: