District: Braintree

Patrol and Enforcement Update

We have been regularly reviewing our levels of enforcement since the Government’s Covid-19 measures were first introduced in March 2020.

On 8 March 2021, all of our patrols returned to normal, however we suspended the enforcement of all single yellow lines restrictions to allow more flexibility for residents working from home. All other restrictions, including those within residential permit areas and car parks, were being enforced as usual.

In line with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and as restrictions ease and travel increases, from 17 May 2021, we will be patrolling and enforcing all parking and waiting restrictions, including single yellow lines.

In line with Government guidance, social distancing and other precautionary measures will always be practised by our officers. Where necessary, postal PCNs may need to be issued for us to operate as safely as possible.

It is important we carry out patrols to ensure roads are safe and clear for all users – particularly emergency services, deliveries, waste and recycling collection vehicles and outside schools. We ask motorists to be mindful of this and continue to park considerately, legally and safely to ensure the roads remain accessible and safe.

Key Worker Permit Update

Hand shown using NEPP's new website.

We have reviewed the NHS and Key Worker permit scheme that has been in place since March 2020.

In light of lock-down measures easing and with Government guidance encouraging employees to return to their workplaces where possible, we have made the decision to end the current permit scheme and replace it with a new scheme specifically for NHS Key Workers. This will align our scheme with the pre-existing Government permit, details of which can be found here.

All current permit holders have been contacted to provide further details on this decision and for how to apply for the new NHS specific scheme.

We would like to thank all Key Workers for their continued dedication to the national response to the pandemic and we are pleased that our temporary scheme has been so popular over what has been and continues to be, a difficult time.

Car parking app video launched

Today, the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) is launching its latest video, which provides motorists with a step-by-step visual and audio guide to using the free MiPermit app to make contactless payments in car parks.

As well as taking viewers through the quick, easy stages of setting up the app for the first time and paying for and extending a parking stay, the video also provides top tips and highlights some of the benefits of using the app, such as expiry reminders and access to exclusive parking offers.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus in the spring, motorists have, and continue to be encouraged to make contactless payments using MiPermit in the car parks NEPP manages in Braintree, Colchester, Harlow and Uttlesford.

The MiPermit app, which is available to download for both Android and iPhone devices, removes the time and hassle of finding, queuing for and using cash/card machines in car parks, which is also a real advantage if you’re in a hurry, can’t find the right coins or the weather is unpleasant. Another real benefit of using the app is MiPermit can be used in lots of other car parks across the UK, meaning visitors to and from the area, can also use it when they travel elsewhere.

NEPP introduced the MiPermit system for contactless payments eight years ago and whilst usage of the app has increased by more than 5000% during this time, this video is designed to help and support those who may be keen to use the app but are unsure how to do so or what the benefits are.

The popular MiPermit app is quick, convenient and easy to use and this is reflected in its uptake and usage across car parks managed by NEPP in North Essex. Since NEPP’s promotional campaign last summer, app usage has significantly increased,and in Colchester alone, the app is now the most popular car parking payment method, with MiPermit usage doubling to 54% over the past year!

This new short video supports the national Positive Parking Agenda, and is part of a series of five educational videos being produced by NEPP to outline their work, its online services and promoting the use of MiPermit.

The first video in this series ‘About Us’ won the Communications Award at the British Parking Awards 2020.

Councillor Robert Mitchell, Chairman of the North Essex Parking Partnership, said: “The NEPP’s latest educational video is a fantastic tool for helping motorists to set up and use the MiPermit app on their phones, whatever their digital knowledge. The short video shows how quick and easy this free app is to use and demonstrates some of its many benefits.

“Use of MiPermit as a car park payment method in North Essex continues to grow and the public’s desire to be able to make contactless payments, since the coronavirus outbreak, has added to this. This latest video is just one of a number of ways in which NEPP is supporting and enabling motorists to be able to do this.”

The video is available to watch on NEPP’s YouTube channel.

Further information about using MiPermit can be found on the NEPP’s website.

Parking restrictions to address dangerous parking in Ardleigh

The North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) is currently installing a new Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in Ardleigh, to address ongoing on-street parking issues in and around Old Ipswich Road.

It is hoped that the new measures will improve road safety in the area and prevent the dangerous obstruction of local roads including Ipswich Road, Old Ipswich Road and Turnpike Close caused by problematic parking

The TRO is the second permanent Red Route marked with double red lines in Tendring district and third in North Essex. Full details of the Order will be viewable on the county’s online TRO mapping system on the 15 June, when the restriction will begin to be enforced.

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

The restriction has been requested by Tendring District Council. NEPP who manage on-street parking in the area, have actioned this 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 may be a frustrating decision for those who find parking on the road convenient, but it’s important that we do all we can to protect our local communities and the residents of Ardleigh, whilst keeping the roads safe and clear for all road users.

Councillor Neil Stock OBE, Leader of Tendring District Council and ward councillor for Ardleigh, said: “We requested this scheme after feedback from the parish council and local residents who were concerned about safety.

“By keeping the road clear it allows improved visibility for drivers when making turns, which helps to keep everyone safe.”

The signs and red lining for the route were installed on the 18 May and will come into force on 15 June.

Parking Patrols to Resume

Hand shown using NEPP's new website.

Patrols have been suspended since mid-March but from the 06 May we will be operating a ‘reactionary’ service focussing on requests for enforcement received from customers. This will be in line with the usual enforcement procedures and legislation.

We are also actively monitoring parking across all districts with officers in our fleet vehicles. This is so we can start to understand areas requiring closer attention and to assess how motorists are using the carriageway for parking during the lockdown.

From 12th May, our Civil Enforcement Officers will be operating mobile patrols paying attention to ‘higher level’ restrictions like Clearways, Red Routes and Double Yellow Lines – restrictions that help with the free-flow of traffic. Dropped kerb obstructions will also be looked at. In these instances, Penalty Charge Notices will be issued as normal, where a vehicle is deemed to be parked in contravention.

Social distancing and other methods will always be practiced by our Officers in line with Governmental guidance. Where necessary, Regulation-10 (Postal) PCNs may need to be issued for us to operate as safely as possible.

We will continue to monitor areas like Residential Permit Zones; however, we are not intending to enforce such areas at this time. Further communications to resident permit holders will be sent and published on this website before any patrols of permit zones re-commence. As things stand this is likely to be in late-May.

It is important we carry out patrols to ensure roads are safe and clear for all users – particularly emergency services, deliveries, waste and recycling collection vehicles and outside schools.

We would ask motorists to be mindful of this and continue to park considerately, legally and safely to ensure the roads remain accessible and safe. Thank you.

Some areas may continue to have relaxed restrictions, and these will be set out on the NEPP Website and latest news will be shown on our Coronavirus information page here – Covid-19