Transport & Sustainability Committee

Agenda Item 48


Subject:                    Parking Review Update


Date of meeting:    5th December 2023


Report of:                 Executive Director of Environment, Economy & Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Charles Field



Ward(s) affected:   All


For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         This report updates on the work undertaken in-house to review parking services across the city, including on a revenue action plan for 23/24 and proposals for 24/25.


1.2         This report also provides updates on the external parking review underway including the scope for consideration of options and timescales for implementation.


1.3      The purpose of the overall review is the creation of a more equitable parking service for residents, visitors and businesses alike. Acknowledging that the provision of parking helps to shape the city, the objective is to encourage people to visit central areas and support future prosperity for all residents. The full scope of the review is outlined in Appendix A.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That Committee notes the initial work that has taken place as part of the parking review.


2.2         That Committee approves actions set out in paragraphs 3.7 to 3.9.


2.3         That Committee notes and agrees the way forward for the external wider parking review as set out in paragraph 3.4 and Appendix A and notes the appointment of the expert consultants to support the Council with the next stage of consultation as set out in paragraph 3.3.


3.            Context and background information


3.1         In late June 2023 the council announced that a review of all planned changes to parking fees and charges would take place.  This would be accompanied by a wider review of parking across the city.




3.2         Following this announcement, in July 2023 the council sought to procure external consultants to develop an initiation document to enable initial review and reporting by Autumn 2023. Following limited interest from the commercial market, officers undertook an initial review to set the scene for a larger piece of work and to layout initial findings for the Autumn of 2023.


3.3         Returns were submitted by two suppliers on 27th October 2023. Following scoring, it was agreed unanimously the contract would be awarded to Mott MacDonald consultants who provided the most economically advantageous tender submission based on the Project Team, Project Plan Model and costs.


3.4         The consultants have begun work and estimated the completion of the project by May 2024. Review findings will be reported to this committee thereafter. The scope of this work is outlined in Appendix A.


3.5         Officers in Parking Services have been undertaking an initial review to report findings to this Committee. This focused on a revenue action plan to reduce the current deficit in 23/24, proposals to take forward in 24/25 and longer-term proposals which can be considered for the wider review.


3.6         The revenue action plan has been progressed by all six areas within Parking Services which has focused on reviewing potential short-term measures, proposals for 24/25 to form part of the fees & charges process / EEC budget Savings and also longer-term proposals.


Short term measures 23/24


3.7      The proposals being take forward currently to try to reduce the current parking income deficit in 23/24 (reported regularly to the Strategy, Finance and City Regeneration Committee) include;


·         Introduction of December and January daytime parking rates in some council car parks to stimulate demand


·         Improving on-street signage to council car parks.


·         Offer real time parking space information for off-street car parks on VMS boards (and increasing amount available).


·         Better advertisement of off-street car parks through banners, poster boards, online promotion.


·         Refining parking schemes to identify more parking space availability.


·         Improved early intervention for debt recovery with review of debt collection and bailiff recovery.


·         Reviewing car free developments in terms of issuing resident permits.


·         Further consideration of parking technical policies to streamline back-office functions and ensure consistency (A separate parking technical policies update is being presented in a separate report to this Committee).


·         A review of contracts within the Blue Badge & Concessionary Travel team.


·         Alterations to current on-foot enforcement across the city working with our external contractor.


            Parking proposals for 24/25


3.8         Alongside the short-term ongoing work above the following is being put forward for consideration as part of the fees & charges proposals and EEC budget savings for 24/25. 


·         A review of parking permits including off-street season tickets and staff passes, seasonal and weekend tariffs, on-street permits, and dispensations. This would involve reviewing prices, new pricing structures and / or stricter criteria.


·         A restructure within Parking Services to ensure there is the structure and resource in place to protect and maximise existing revenue streams, and to explore new innovative revenue areas to meet the budgetary demands.


·         Tackling permit, blue badge and concessionary travel mis-use more effectively (linked to restructure) with a new anti-fraud strategy.


·         The investigation of a physical permit option for residents and visitors without or limited access to phones or digital payments options.


·         Reviewing Light Touch parking schemes with an upcoming consultation being reported in the new year. This is to ensure that the price reflects the utilisation and enforcement costs of parking spaces throughout a Zone.


·         Introduce bay charges for unauthorised suspensions with modelling being undertaken of income deliverability.


·         A review of all free limited waiting parking inside Controlled Parking Zones and adjacent to them.


Long-term proposals beyond 24/25


3.9         Finally as part of longer term proposals beyond 24/25 linked to the restructure and parking technical policies, programmes and projects a number of identified projects are being considered, some of which have commenced. The wider Parking review once complete will also allow consideration of further proposals and reviews beyond 24/25. The proposals include;


·         Reviewing emissions-based charges for permits and consideration of a similar model for on-street and off-street paid parking.


·         A review of permits as part of the ongoing parking digital modernisation programme whilst keeping physical permit options. Linked to the programme will be Systems improvements for parking permits, Concessionary travel & Blue Badges. (A customer service update report is being presented in a separate report to this Committee in the new year).


·         Ongoing programme of red routes delivery (first proposals outlined in a separate report at this Committee).


·         Taking forward Moving Traffic Offences at specific locations.


·         Review of parking scheme priority timetable to be presented to this Committee next year.


·         A lifecycle review of all off-street car parks to ensure they are protected as a council asset and deliver an attractive and commercially competitive place to park.


·         The continued roll-out of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. (An update report will come back to this Committee in the new year).


·         Procurement, review and implementation of a CCTV programme in terms of cameras for bus lane enforcement, parking enforcement and general traffic management use.


4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         The alternative option is not to proceed with a parking review but it is recommended this is taken forward.


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1         Following the findings of the wider parking review the Council will undertake community engagement and consultation where required. This may be through Traffic Regulation Orders or through more detailed consultation.


5.2         Alongside this consideration is being put forward of the 24/25 fees & charges process which includes a restructure within Parking Services as outlined above.


6.            Conclusion


6.1         Officers are implementing a short-term review of Parking Services as the first step in ensuring a more equitable parking arrangements for residents and visitors across the city.  External consultants have been commissioned to review the overall model for Parking Services to assess where further improvements can be made. 


7.            Financial implications


7.1         Costs associated with the parking review are anticipated at circa £0.060m. These will be contained within existing parking budgets including existing consultancy fee budgets and other expenditure budgets. This will add a further circa £0.060m cost to Parking Services increasing the existing significant variance and will be reported as part of the council’s monthly budget monitoring process.


Name of finance officer consulted: David Wilder Date consulted 16/11/2023


8.            Legal implications


8.1         There are no direct legal implications arising out of this report, as it is firstly for noting and secondly for approving the way forward for a parking review. There may be subsequent legal considerations that arise out of the conclusions for the parking review but these will be considered as and when they arise.


Name of lawyer consulted: Katie Kam           Date consulted 13/11/2023


9.            Equalities implications


9.1         Any relevant proposals that come from the Parking Review of fees & charges process may require Equality Impact Assessments. The previous proposal to remove pay & display machines undertook a full Equalities Impact Assessment in 23/24 and moving forward as digital exclusion was identified officers will be working with Digital Brighton & Hove to look at investigating options.


10.         Sustainability implications


10.1      No sustainability Implications have been identified.


Supporting Documentation


1.            Appendices


Appendix A – Scope of the Parking Review