Motorists are being encouraged to act responsibly and observe safety and critical-route parking restrictions, as wide-ranging efforts continue to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
The North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) issued the appeal in response to a series of unprecedented measures announced by the Government in recent days to help tackle the impact of the virus, which has seen normal life put on hold for the foreseeable future.
NEPP’s traffic officers are already focusing patrols on safety-critical routes and areas, while relaxing patrols in some areas to react to changing needs. The key priorities will be to manage the safe movement of traffic and ensuring safe access for emergency vehicles and other essential services such as waste and recycling lorries.
NEPP has responded to the crisis by helping to maximise parking spaces in one-hour single yellow line restrictions where commuters might usually park, by relaxing those parking restrictions to enable home-working. Motorists must obey usual rules to avoid causing an obstruction and must keep access clear, especially for emergency and waste collection vehicles.
NEPP will also be contacting all Resident Permit holders, via their online account in MiPermit or other contact details on record, regarding a temporary extension to their permits.
It is also looking at NHS permits and how more parking space can be made available. NEPP recognises the role that NHS staff are carrying out and will be honouring NHS permits where it is safe to park. More details will be provided on the NEPP website.
NEPP will continue to provide help for anyone who contacts its enquiry line but advises callers that they may experience a longer wait than usual as we move to restricted hours.
Cllr Robert Mitchell, Chairman of the North Essex Parking Partnership, said: “The current reaction to COVID-19 requires an unprecedented flexibility to parking that NEPP is proud to demonstrate. I can reassure the public that our officers are here to help, as always, but will continue to do everything they can to ensure the safe flow of traffic and responsible parking as this situation evolves.
“Most importantly, I would ask everyone to keep calm and be reasonable. There are no excuses for careless or inconsiderate parking, and we are asking all motorists to park responsibly and considerately. The number-one priority is to maintain access for essential services, for the benefit of all.
“If you are self-isolating and required to move your vehicle because it is parked illegally, then you should expect to do so if you are well enough.
“We are working together to enable parking for residents during commuter restrictions where parking patterns have temporarily changed.
“Where reports of increased verbal abuse have been received, this remains unacceptable and will be reported using evidence from body-worn cameras, as per usual. Please let our officers provide their best service.
“The bottom line is: Park up but, when you get out of your vehicle, consider carefully to see if you could have done it better or safer – and then move your vehicle if necessary!
NEPP will continue to review its operations in line with the latest Government advice and guidelines. Find out more by visiting the NEPP website or on Twitter. Additional information about parking can also be found at https://www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus/residents/parking-faqs/