Plenty of room in Colchester as Priory Street Car Park reopens

Priory St Car Park 1.jpg

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

Get ready. Get set. VOTE!

dac17_finalist_twitter

I’m super excited today as the public vote has now opened for the Digital Awards Champions – and you can vote for this blog to win!

I was over the moon when my blog won the Gold Award at the Essex Digital Awards in the Business Blog category back in April. Everyone here at the NEPP was so pleased to hear how impressed the judges were with this blog and how it manages to make a difficult subject fun, engaging and understandable.

All the Gold Award winners from the Digital Award Schemes 2016 are now in the running to be overall Champion for their category. Your votes will now choose an overall Champion for each category from the awards that have taken place in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Milton Keynes and Surrey.

I’m so pleased that our customers are finding this blog useful and I would like to ask you to cast your vote for this blog. To vote, simply go to www.thedigitalawards.co/champions/blog-business, select North Essex Parking Partnership (Essex) and click the ‘submit vote’ button. The vote will close at 5pm on 20 January 2017.

Happy voting and fingers crossed!

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

A day in the life of…

I hope you all had a good Easter and enjoyed the sunny weather – the roads were certainly busy and continue to be whilst the schools are off but hopefully you all found my last post useful and were able to avoid traffic problems.

So far on this blog I’ve written a lot about my job as a Civil Enforcement Officer and this week I thought I would share a link which tells you about a day in the life of someone else who works for the NEPP; our Group Manager, Richard Walker:

A day in the life of NEPP’s Group Manager

Happy reading!

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.

Seasonal Restriction Results

Signage-for-Blog-070316

Thanks to everyone who took part in last week’s seasonal parking restriction activity – it’s been my most popular poll yet!

The sign above is informing motorists that ‘No waiting’ (or parking) is permitted from 8.00am to 6.00pm during the period 1 April – 30 November. Parking on a ‘No waiting’ restriction is only permitted for blue badge holders clearly displaying their blue badge and accompanying clock (for a maximum of 3 hours) or for loading or unloading to take place. Based on this, the correct answers to last week’s poll are as follows:

You could be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) if you parked where this sign appears and were:

  • Parking on 20th June from 4.30pm – 8.00pm.
    Parking is only permitted before 8.00am and after 6.00pm so the vehicle would be parked illegally between 4.30pm and 6.00pm.
  • Parking from 7.00am – 10.00pm on the August Bank Holiday.
    Parking is only permitted before 8.00am and after 6.00pm so the vehicle would be parked illegally from 8.00am until 6.00pm. The fact that this is a Bank Holiday makes no difference as parking restrictions still apply on bank and public holidays unless there are signs specifically indicating they do not.
  • Parking on 1st April from 9.00am – 12.00pm displaying a valid blue badge but without an accompanying clock.
    Although blue badge holders are permitted to park where this type of restriction exists, they can only do so for a maximum of three hours and they must clearly display both their blue badge and an accompanying set clock. Without an accompanying clock, there is no way a Civil Enforcement Officer would know how long the vehicle had been parked and a PCN would be issued.
  • Parking on 2nd August from 9.00am – 2.00pm displaying a valid blue badge with an accompanying set clock.
    Blue badge holders are permitted to park for a maximum of three hours where this type of restriction exists (providing a valid blue badge is displayed together with an accompanying set clock). In this scenario the car would have been parked for five hours (two hours over the maximum permitted).

You would not receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) if you parked where this sign appears if you were:

  • Loading/unloading heavy goods from 8.00 – 8.30am on 21st October.
    Loading or unloading is permitted to take place where this type of restriction exists, however a Civil Enforcement Officer must see unloading or loading taking place.
  • Parking on 5th September from 9.00am – 11.30am displaying a valid blue badge with an accompanying set clock.
    Blue badge holders are permitted to park where this type of restriction exists for a maximum of three hours (in this scenario it was only for two and half) and they must clearly display their blue badge and an accompanying clock which this driver did.

All of the scenarios above are fictional, however if you were to receive a PCN for being parked where a seasonal restriction is in force and you wanted to appeal against it, written appeals can be made to the North Essex Parking Partnership. The particular circumstances of the case and any supporting evidence will be considered and the decision to either uphold and allow the appeal will be made. Further information about the appeal process can be found here.

I hope you’ve all found this really helpful and remember to keep your eyes peeled for seasonal restrictions and what they mean before you park.