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Coronavirus FAQs

We are providing a list of frequently asked questions based on queries we have already received and those we expect to receive over the coming weeks and months. These will be reviewed and added to on a regular basis.

If you have any queries please call us on 01206 282316. Our phone lines are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively email us via parking@colchester.gov.uk making sure to include 'Coronavirus Parking Query' in the subject field so we can respond to you as quickly as possible.

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 such as Clearways, Red Routes, Bus Stops and Single 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. Patrols will be carried out 7 days a week.

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.

Since our decision to postpone patrols in Residential Permit Zones, we have been actively monitoring the situation. Following the Government's announcement on the 10 May, it is anticipated the use of vehicles will be increasing over the coming weeks. Therefore, we will bring back patrols in resident permit zones on 06 July 2020. Emails were sent to all digital permit holders confirming this from the week commencing 18 May, and a reminder is scheduled for the week commencing 22 June.

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:

http://www1.parkingpartnership.org/north/coronavirus

All the car parks the North Essex Parking Partnership manages for Braintree, Harlow and Uttlesford Councils are currently open as usual.

This includes those previously closed in Colchester, which reopened on 13th May in light of the updated government advice.

You can pay for your parking using the MiPermit App, text messaging, online or by phone, using your own device, and this is the recommended method for payment.

For more information and ‘how-to’ guides, visit www.mipermit.com.

Contactless payments are available in some of the car parks we manage.

Cash payments can still be made if you wish however we would encourage you to follow Government advice on hand washing or using sanitiser gel, before and after, if doing so.

A three calendar month extension was added to all active permit or season ticket holders at no cost on 26 March. Emails were sent to all digital permit holders confirming this on the same day.

Visitor permits should still be used as normal - more information on this can be found here: http://www1.parkingpartnership.org/north/coronavirusresidents

Since our decision to postpone patrols in Residential Permit Zones, we have been actively monitoring the situation. Following the Government's announcement on the 10 May, it is anticipated the use of vehicles will be increasing over the coming weeks. Therefore, we will bring back patrols in resident permit zones on 06 July 2020. Emails were sent to all digital permit holders confirming this from the week commencing 18 May, and a reminder is scheduled for the week commencing 22 June.

Yes, visitor permits should continue to be used as normal throughout the 'lockdown' period. This is to ensure that we can monitor the usage of permit schemes fully throughout this period and so that our Civil Enforcement Officers can determine who is and who isn't entitled to park.

It is one of our priorities that residents and key workers can maintain access to parking during a time when on-street parking will be in a much higher demand than usual. We do not want to lower our requirements for needing to have a permit, as doing so could negatively impact on parking availability.

Since our decision to postpone patrols in Residential Permit Zones, we have been actively monitoring the situation. Following the Government's announcement on the 10 May, it is anticipated the use of vehicles will be increasing over the coming weeks. Therefore, we will bring back patrols in resident permit zones on 06 July 2020. Emails were sent to all digital permit holders confirming this from the week commencing 18 May, and a reminder is scheduled for the week commencing 22 June.

In these exceptional circumstances, we are continuing to review this situation and will continue to provide guidance on the NEPP Website. The most important thing is not to park in a way which blocks restrictions, entrances and driveways, junctions and emergency routes.

1-hour Single Yellow Lines were previously relaxed to enable residents to park, however we have now started enforcing these locations as an increase in traffic is expected with the governments latest announcement. This was from the 12 May 2020.

Since our decision to postpone patrols in Residential Permit Zones, we have been actively monitoring the situation. Following the Government's announcement on the 10 May, it is anticipated the use of vehicles will be increasing over the coming weeks. Therefore, we will bring back patrols in resident permit zones on 06 July 2020. Emails were sent to all digital permit holders confirming this from the week commencing 18 May, and a reminder is scheduled for the week commencing 22 June.

Yes. Key Workers and NHS employees are being offered a 6 month exemption to enable them to visit key locations as necessary. More information on this can be found here:

http://www1.parkingpartnership.org/north/coronavirusnhs


A handy online tool has been developed by the British Parking Association where NHS and Key Workers can find any free off-street parking locations. Details on an additional permit scheme for those in key roles can be found here:

www.nhs-freeparking.co.uk

The process for appealing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) remains the same however we will ask Key Workers to provide evidence of the circumstances mentioned in their appeal. Evidence of being a Key Worker - such as a letter to confirm Key Worker status - will be acceptable in this instance.

Key Workers can apply for an exemption in order to be facilitate their work for an initial period of 6 months. More details on this can be found here:

http://www1.parkingpartnership.org/north/coronavirusnhs

We will always look carefully at the circumstances of any penalty, but there is no reason to park illegally or dangerously.

Details of how to appeal a PCN can be found on the North Essex Parking Partnership website.


A handy online tool has been developed by the British Parking Association where NHS and Key Workers can find any free off-street parking locations. Details on an additional permit scheme for those in key roles can be found here:

www.nhs-freeparking.co.uk

Our usual process for considering challenges will apply, however we would encourage you to provide as much evidence as possible, explaining clearly the reason for parking and any other relevant extenuating circumstances if you do wish to challenge your PCN. All cases are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Details of how to appeal a PCN can be found on the North Essex Parking Partnership website.

The process for appealing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) remains the same and we will still ask motorists to provide evidence of the circumstances mentioned in their appeal.

We will look carefully at the circumstances of any penalty, but there is no reason to park illegally or dangerously.

Details of how to appeal a PCN can be found on the North Essex Parking Partnership website.

We understand that finding appropriate parking may be difficult. We are therefore offering a 6-month exemption for Key Workers to make your job easier. More information on how to and who can apply, can be found here:

http://www1.parkingpartnership.org/north/coronavirusnhs


A handy online tool has been developed by the British Parking Association where NHS and Key Workers can find any free off-street parking locations. Details on an additional permit scheme for those in key roles can be found here:

www.nhs-freeparking.co.uk

Yes. Please continue to clearly display your blue badge when required in line with the booklet you receive with your blue badge. Please note the following FAQ however on a newly agreed extension and relaxed enforcement of blue badges.

More information on the rights and responsibilities of using your badge can be found here:

Blue Badge Holder Rights and Responsibilities (Easy Read)

Yes. A decision has been made that badges with an expiry date of 1 January 2020 or later can continue to be used in the usual way until 30 September 2020. A six month extension will be applied to your badge if due for renewal within this period.

Please note that we don't process blue badge renewals or applications (that's Essex County Council) but we do enforce the use of blue badges so our officers will not issue a Penalty Charge Notice against you, providing you are using your badge correctly. Please ensure you are clearly displaying the badge with the expiry date and other details visible.

Please ensure that if you have any queries regarding enforcement or use of your badge, that you contact us directly on 01206 282316 or at parking@colchester.gov.uk.

Any queries that relate to your blue badge itself and the 6 month extension should be directed to Essex County Council - contact details can be found here: https://www.essex.gov.uk/blue-badge/contact-the-blue-badge-team

Our Engineering service has been affected by restrictions imposed on non-essential services. Suspension requests can still be submitted to techteam@colchester.gov.uk however please be aware that we may be unable to fully provide our usual services and timescales.

TRO applications can still be submitted according to the details on our application pages found here: http://www1.parkingpartnership.org/north/technical.php. Timescales are likely to be affected, however the team will keep you informed where possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we look forward to returning to our usual service levels as soon as we are able to.

We are still accepting applications for both H-bar markings, Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and Suspensions however please be aware that delays on our processing and consideration of these is severely impacted at this moment in time. We will ensure you are kept up to date with the status of your application during this period and we hope we are able to return to our usual service levels as soon as possible based on governmental guidance.

Where we are able to offer any alternative provisions, advice or approvals - especially in the case of restriction suspensions - we will do so on a case-by-case basis. If this is the case, we will contact you accordingly.

Please email us at techteam@colchester.gov.uk if you have any queries.