On-street parking enforcement is to be ‘gradually reinstated’ by Devon County Council from today (Monday, May 18) – with traffic wardens to target tourist hot-spots.
The authority’s officers will initially be deployed to areas where issues with increasing numbers of visitors have been raised by communities and police.
Highways chiefs say some communities – coastal resorts in particular – have asked for help to tackle parking problems after lockdown restrictions were relaxed.
Penalty notices will not be issued in the first week to allow drivers a ‘grace period’ – with warnings dished out to anyone flouting restrictions instead.
The DCC rules apply to on-street pay-and-display, limited waiting bays and residents’ parking areas.
‘Live’ enforcement will start on Monday, May 25.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highway management, said: “With central government encouraging some sectors back to work and enabling people to travel more, we are starting to see increasing traffic levels on our roads.
“Some of our local communities, particularly coastal resorts, are calling for enforcement officers to help deal with parking issues that are arising from increased numbers of visitors, so we will be gradually scaling up our enforcement operations from this week.
“It will be a proportionate return, starting with only warning notices at first, to make people aware that ‘live’ enforcement will be scheduled to resume on pay-and-display, limited waiting bays and residents’ parking areas from Monday 25 May.
“While the pandemic continues, consideration will be provided via the appeals process, and should a driver receive a penalty charge notice, the impact of changing enforcement will be fully considered along with any other mitigation they may offer.
“We will also be considering some form of short-term permits for those continuing to have to work from home or self-isolate.”
A DCC spokesperson added: “Although enforcement of on-street parking across Devon was temporarily relaxed near the end of March, ‘no waiting’ restrictions -including single yellow lines and double yellow lines – have had to be enforced throughout lockdown.
“They will continue to be enforced to enable clear access for emergency vehicles, care workers, food delivery and refuse collection.
“Parking enforcement officers will continue to be instructed to follow social distancing rules and good hand hygiene.
“They will be deployed in vehicles in order to minimise social contact, but they will expect to spend more time patrolling on foot in areas where there is on-street parking.”
Devon parking enforcement changes – are you affected?
Residents still required to work from home, but who have additional vehicles above their two residents’ parking permit allowance, are asked to find more via the council’s parking services webpage.
Care and health workers already benefit from the existing parking exemption scheme.
Those with the ‘timeclock’ issued by DCC can continue to park without time restriction in areas of limited waiting, residents’ parking, and on-street pay-and-display, as well as currently up to two hours on single and double yellow line ‘no waiting’ restrictions.
For care and health workers who do not have the ‘timeclock’ parking exemption, DCC is extending its old permit scheme until Tuesday, June 30. A permit can be downloaded and printed for use in limited waiting, residents’ parking areas, on-street pay-and-display, but not on single or double yellow lines.
DCC says it is already working closely with the RD&E Trust and has issued dispensation permits for key workers to park in areas of limited waiting, residents’ parking areas, and on-street pay-and-display near to the hospital.
There is also an agreement from Exeter City Council enabling Trust staff to use these permits in their nearby off-street car parks.
The national NHS parking pass is also accepted, and staff are encouraged to visit www.nhs-freeparking.co.uk.
Grace periods are continuing to be offered on expired residents’ permits until Tuesday, June 30.
Everyone using pay-and-display areas are asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines and are encouraged to pay for parking ‘hands-free’ using the Phone and Pay app.
Anyone paying by cash at a parking meter is asked to ensure they use hand sanitiser before and after using the meter.
More information is available here.