Consultation Outcome

Below is news of the outcome of our recent consultation on the proposed Residents’s Parking Scheme on the Mountfitchet Estate

First, we would like to thank the residents who took the time to respond to the consultation. We distributed letters to 225 households and received 89 replies. Eighty-five households objected to the introduction of the permit scheme (37.8%). The scheme, therefore, will not be going ahead as it could not achieve 75% support – the level required for the North Essex Parking Partnership to proceed with a scheme. The Parish Council’s Highways Sub-Committee is expected to ratify the outcome at its meeting later this month. Below is a summary of residents on the estate’s reasons for their objection:

TABLE: Consultation Summary

REASONS GIVEN FOR OBJECTION NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS OBJECTING DUE TO THIS REASON 
Financial – Do not agree with the high charges and cannot afford them  34 
Principle – Do not agree should pay to park where they live  20 
Scheme will not have a positive outcome to parking issues  2 
Not enough space for all cars  1 
Too many cars in household  4 
Manchester Airport should pay as its their high charges causing the issues  6 
No parking issues on the Mountfitchet Estate  5 
The new signage is already working  1 
Would like to see if the new signs work before implementing another scheme  2 

A SNAPSHOT OF RESIDENTS’ COMMENTS

Many of your comments were detailed and gave a clear insight into why you felt this was not appropriate. Below is a snapshot of some of those comments:

  • We have lived on the estate for around six and a half years and have not noticed any discernible issue with commuter and airport parking (the occasional case, but nothing of significant note). 
  • We would support the scheme if not for the ridiculously high cost of residents permits
  • In practice due to the airport/railway parkers we often have to park on the verge, taking care not to block the pavement, in order to unload equipment such as lawnmowers and gardening equipment and weekly shopping. 
  •  I do agree that there should be the installation of red lines where parking is often dangerous 
  • We appreciate the airport signs that have gone up around the estate and surely first we should be seeing if this is deterrent enough before adding lines and permits. Priority should be cutting the hedges as we are in a blind corner and already had one car written off there, closing the gap on our corner ot the park so children aren’t using a dangerous ‘run out’ from the green 
  • I am all for the red lines being introduced. I think it is needed as a matter of urgency. People leaving vehicles on grass verges or two wheels up on the kerb restricts the motorists view of oncoming traffic. 
  • I do not support this scheme at all as I would be unable to afford the fees for such permit. I need to park my car as close to my home as possible as a foster carer to babies and young children but my income is not enough to cover permit fees. 
  • Due to the amount of cars that we need to have, we’re strongly of the opinion that the residents’ parking permits should be scrapped. While we understand that airport parking has become a big issue on the surrounding street, Manor Road is generally so full of cars that we do not see many people use the road who do not already live here, or who are not visiting residents. 
  • As a pensioner I would not be able to afford the cost of permits. Since introduction of the No Parking Airport Parking Signs, there seem to be an improvement in the situation. 
  • In this road we are not bothered by commuter parking, and I feel permit parking would cause undue stress. 
  • I would be concerned that residents who could not afford the on-road permits would end up parking in the cul-de-sacs along Manor Road, potentially clogging up those zones for cul-de-sac residents. 
  • We are against introducing Residents’ Parking. We currently don’t have a problem with commuters or airport parking outside our house. In other areas of the estate, they have had notices put up saying no commuter parking.  
  • Many residents already take parking into their own hands – leaving bins and other items in the road to stop other people from parking there. If they have to pay to park, I worry this will increase the sense of entitlement to park directly outside your own house, causing issues for others. This is already a problem with certain houses on the estate and I can only see this getting worse if people have to start paying. 

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

We also received a number of questions to put to the North Essex Parking Partnership and below is their response to these which we publish for your information:

1 Is there a discount for senior citizens?

No 

2 Can the first permit to each household be given for free and they pay for any additional vehicles?

There are no free permits in circulation 

3 Why are the charges so high compared to Harlow for instance?

When NEPP assumed responsibility for permits across the North of Essex there were various levels of charges which have been adjusted over time to be more comparable. 

4 Why will no other options be available until 2026 if the residents don’t support this scheme?

We have limited resources, and our Board/partners will not keep entertaining requests for schemes/restrictions to be considered. It is worth noting that we have no legal responsibility to make changes on the Highway and we receive no independent funding. 

5 Is there any discount or allowance for those registered disabled especially if more than one member of the household is disabled?

A national exemption exists enabling any disabled badge holder to park in any permit zone or bay in England & Wales. 

6 Will car owners get a ticket if they park on the grass verge where there are red lines?

Already responded to in a previous reply arranged separately. Whilst this scenario does appear to suggest that the verge could be enforced, the footway would need to run parallel with the road edge, so in this case a separate restriction may be needed. 

7 If a household owns 3 cars of which only one of these will be parked on the road at any time as they have a driveway for 2 cars, can they buy a permit based on the house so that any one of the cars can use it or would they need to obtain a permit for each car? It is not always the same car out of the 3 which parks on the road.

The answer is ‘almost’. A resident permit can have a maximum of two vehicles on a permit, so in this case, it would be any of two vehicles that could be on the road whilst the others are on the drive. The resident would need to decide on a vehicle that is always on the drive. The alternative is to purchase a first and a second resident permit and put two vehicles on one permit and one vehicle on the other, this way all 3 are covered regardless of which one is on the road. We hope that made sense? It can get a little confusing the whole ‘two vehicles on one permit’ scenario. 

8 The NEPP are in Stansted daily so why can they not pay more visits to the estate?

NEPP will attend areas as often as practicable and when resources allow. 

9 NEPP is owned by Colchester Council so shouldn’t they be a non-profitable organisation?

NEPP is not “owned” by Colchester Borough Council. A lead Authority is required in terms of the Governance and our Political procedures in place. The NEPP do not make profits but must ensure that our operations are self-funding as we do not receive any funding from any partner authority member/ECC or Central Government. Any surplus made above and beyond NEPP operating costs is re-invested in Highway-based works and projects

RED LINES

Finally, the proposals for implementation of the red lines on parts of the Mountfitchet Estate will go to the Highways Sub-Committee for ratification.

The main aim of these is to protect the bus route around the estate and to encourage those who have parking to the rear of their properties to use it rather than parking on the street