Temporary parking restriction to improve forest parking

A temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is being implemented by the North Essex Parking Partnership in High Beech in Epping Forest on 22 May to address on-street parking issues, deter non-essential travel to the Forest and support the Government’s current guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The new measures hope to improve visitor safety and prevent the obstruction of local roads by problematic parking, reinforce the byelaw of local verges and release police resources that were required to manage the situation.

The TRO, a Red Route marked with double red lines is a first for North Essex and will come into force on a number of roads around & within the Forest. Full details of the restriction can be viewed on the North Essex Parking Partnership’s website and on the county’s online TRO mapping system..

Red routes were first tried in London more than 10 years ago and have tougher, zero-tolerance approach to traffic violations. The red route is being introduced to stop drivers from parking dangerously on the road and verges, and prohibits stopping, loading or unloading, and boarding or alighting from a vehicle. This comes after a large number of drivers have been turned away after parking on the verges.

The new restriction will also support the City of London Corporation’s environmental and management plans for the area as well as resulting in reduced congestion; carbon dioxide emissions; noise and air pollution. Once the current non-essential travel restrictions are lifted, motorists visiting the area, will be able to make full use of the 52 free car parks throughout Epping Forest.

The temporary TRO period allows Essex County Council to monitor the scheme closely for 18 months. Before the end of this period, and if there is a need to amend the scheme, or make it permanent, a formal public consultation will take place, enabling members of the public to provide feedback on the proposals.

The restriction which will come in, in two weeks’ time, has been requested by a partnership of Essex County Council, Epping Forest District Council, Essex Police, and the City of London Corporation Epping Forest. North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) who manage on-street parking in the area, have actioned this temporary TRO on their behalf.

Councillor Robert Mitchell, Deputy Cabinet Member for Highways at Essex County Council and Chairman of the North Essex Parking Partnership, said: “We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, but it’s important that we do all we can to protect our local communities and the environment. This TRO will keep the roads clear and safe for all essential road users and discourage non-essential travel under the Government’s current guidelines.

“It’s testament to our flexible team that we’ve been able to respond so quickly to our partner’s requests during this challenging period and we are confident that this temporary restriction will alleviate the dangerous and unnecessary parking issues in the area.”

Cllr Nigel Bedford Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Epping Forest District Council, said: “These steps to protect public safety are being supported by a range of partners including Epping Forest District Council, Essex County Council and Essex Police. I know these restrictions will not be popular with everyone but the vast majority of residents understand how careful we have to be at this critical time in the management of the Coronavirus Pandemic. With warmer weather and bank holidays providing the temptation to go out more, it is especially important that we do not risk the hard-won progress we have achieved in the fight against the virus.”

The signs and red lining for the route are being installed and are due to be completed next week.