To seek approval for a revised NorthTyneside Parking Strategy.
Cabinet considered a report seeking approval for the revised North Tyneside Parking Strategy.
In October 2021, Cabinet approved the revised and updated North Tyneside Transport Strategy. Its vision is “Moving to a green, healthy, dynamic and thriving North Tyneside” and it sets out five key principles to achieve this.
There were a number of specific strategies and plans within the context of the North Tyneside Transport Strategy: these included the existing North Tyneside Parking Strategy, which was adopted by Cabinet in September 2017.
While North Tyneside was served by cycling and walking routes of improving quality and a comprehensive public transport network, the use of the private car or van remained a frequent choice for residents, businesses, and visitors, with growing use of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in preference to petrol or diesel vehicles. Following the adoption of the updated Transport Strategy, the Cabinet Member for Environment requested that a review of the Parking Strategy, and its associated processes, should be undertaken. Officers conducted a survey and held workshops with Members to obtain their feedback and seek to identify key areas of improvement. Through this engagement, key issues for residents and Members were highlighted such as timescales, criteria, and communication.
At its June meeting, the Overview, Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee gave consideration to the Parking Strategy and noted the proposed changes to it following the review of the existing Parking Strategy.
The proposed revisions to the Parking Strategy, following the review exercise and reflecting the updated North Tyneside Transport Strategy, are set out in section 1.5.3 of the report. Following the review of the strategy, specific changes were also proposed to the internal processes relating to requests for parking restrictions and disabled parking bays, as described in section 1.5.4 of the report. These changes aimed to deliver better outcomes for the Authority’s customers and give greater visibility to Members.
The proposed revised Parking Strategy, attached as Appendix 1, incorporated the following specific changes to reflect the updated North Tyneside Transport Strategy and the recent Member engagement described above:
i. The text had been revised to reflect the updated North Tyneside Transport Strategy and the Authority’s Carbon Net Zero objectives, and to make a specific link between the Parking Strategy and the recently adopted North Tyneside Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Strategy.
ii. The list of types of parking permit had been updated to reflect the current position.
iii. Regarding requests for disabled parking bays – the relevant section (Annex 5 in the draft strategy) had been amended to support residents to use equivalent proof of disability, rather than solely requiring proof of receipt of the ‘Higher Rate’ mobility component of the Government’s Disability Living Allowance. This is in relation to requests for disabled bays. It has also been amended to introduce greater flexibility in the case of an objection from another resident to a request for a disabled bay. Additionally, the specific needs of people with disabilities and their carers are to be carefully considered when developing a parking solution.
iv. Regarding requests to introduce residential permit parking schemes – in the relevant section (Annex 2 in the draft strategy), the order of the criteria had been amended, so that ‘at least 51% of residents in favour’ becomes the first criterion which must be satisfied before others were considered.
The following specific changes were to be made to the internal processes relating to requests for parking restrictions and disabled bays:
i. An improved interactive restriction request form that will provide a user-friendly means to submit requests. It will include a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs), tips and information on the request process for requesters to read before they progress with the submission of the form. Provision is also available for residents to attend Customer First Centres for help filling in the form, and a hard copy can also be provided.
ii. Subject to the revised Parking Strategy being approved by Cabinet, it will need to be demonstrated that at least 51% of residents are in favour of a parking scheme before the restriction request can be considered further. This will help to make it possible to notify residents promptly if a scheme will not progress, minimising the wait for updates.
iii. A record of parking restriction requests has been created which will include all requests received via the new online form as well as existing requests. This will be updated monthly and uploaded onto the Members’ area, supporting Members to check schemes in their wards every month, receive regular updates and ultimately keep residents well informed of progress.
iv. Previously, assessments and surveys have been completed once per year. It is intended to increase the frequency of assessments and surveys, to reduce the time taken to implement parking schemes and reduce wait times for residents.
v. Subject to the revised Parking Strategy being approved by Cabinet, when residents request the provision of disabled bays, equivalent proof will now be accepted by officers as described in section 1.5.3.
vi. Subject to the revised Parking Strategy being approved by Cabinet, greater flexibility will be introduced in the case of an objection from another resident to a request for a disabled bay.
Cabinet considered the following decision options: to accept the recommendations set out in paragraph 1.2 of the report; or alternatively, to not accept the recommendations.
Resolved that (1) the revised North Tyneside Parking Strategy attached as Appendix 1 to this report, be approved; and
(2) the Director of Regeneration and Economic Development, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment, be authorised to make amendments to the strategy as and when required.
(Reason for decision: to support the effective management of parking in North Tyneside.)