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Annual Parking Report 2019 to 2020

Foreword

This Annual Car Parking report summarises the parking and traffic enforcement activities conducted by the Council during the financial year 2019/2020. The Council continues to operate parking enforcement under the Traffic Management Act 2004, ensuring parking services operates to support businesses, shoppers, residents and visitors to the Borough in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Parking facilities are vital for people coming to Stockton to work, study, visit and support economic growth. Parking controls assist in making our roads safe, minimising congestion, ensuring free-flowing traffic conditions and encouraging people to visit Stockton more regularly whilst balancing the needs of businesses, residents, visitors and blue badge holders. 

The visible presence of Civic Enforcement Officers (CEO's) is the primary means of achieving compliance with parking regulations. This report provides an overview of what, why and how parking services are undertaken in Stockton.

If you have any questions or comments about the Annual Report or the Car Parking service in general please let us know by contacting the helpline on 01642 528203 or email us at EGDS@stockton.gov.uk or visit our Car Parking pages.
 

Councillor Mike Smith

Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport

 

What makes Stockton-on-Tees

Stockton-on-Tees is a Unitary Authority with a population of approximately 192,000. Within the Borough of Stockton there are 6 town centres; Stockton, Billingham, Thornaby, Yarm, Norton and Ingleby Barwick.

Stockton town centre is located on the north bank of the river Tees. At the heart of the High Street (which is one of the widest in the UK) is the Town Hall, which dates from 1735. The High Street also incorporates an outdoor market which has been in existence since the 1300s and is held every Wednesday and Saturday. Stockton High Street is historically known for being the first area to operate a railway system and it is something which we take great pride in. We have a feature within the town centre which shows our passion for this known as the Automaton. View how the automaton works.

The automaton attracts visitors every day to watch the way the engine appears from inside of a plinth and produce steam and sound effects which can be heard throughout the Town Centre.

Billingham town centre, located in the north of the Borough provides the town with national retail chains, including the oldest continuously trading Asda supermarket in the UK. The town centre public realm has been transformed with a multi-million pound facelift. It is home to one of the biggest leisure centres in the North East, The Forum. It provides facilities for swimming, ice skating, gymnasium, indoor activities as well as a Theatre attached to it.

To the west of the Town is Seal Sands which is a combination of industry and nature reserves between Stockton and Hartlepool.

Thornaby town centre was transformed with the pavilion shopping centre, providing extensive range of national and local retailers, restaurants and leisure centres. Similar to The Forum in Billingham, the Pavilion is the sister building which offers similar activities, all of which can be used with the same membership, ACTIV8.

Yarm town centre is located in the south of the Borough close to the border of North Yorkshire. Yarm is seen to be one of the most affluent areas of Stockton. The High Street is bordered by two rivers with many Georgian style buildings fronting onto the cobbled parking area providing a mix of shops and restaurants. Yarm is an attraction for people across the North East due to its vibrant and quirky coffee shops. Free parking is offered for the first hour in Yarm for shorter visits to the town and to help increase the availability of spaces for visitors.

Stockton-on-Tees prides itself on its event culture and continued to deliver an action packed calendar of events in 2019/20 across the Borough throughout the year. This included one of Europe's largest free open air festivals, the Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF), the biggest and most attended fire work display which attracted up to 40,000 spectators and the ever increasingly popular British Cycling Festival.

View our video which demonstrates the type of events we hold;

In February 2019, we saw the opening of the Hampton by Hilton Hotel which overlooks the Northshore Riverside giving you views of the Tees from your room with just a stone throw away from the High Street.

In 2021 we will see the grand opening of the historic building, The Globe Theatre. This is a very interesting building first opened in the 1930's. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to restore this beautiful building where we have been able to retain a large part of its historic structure.

Training and Qualifications

Parking Enforcement is carried out by Civic Enforcement Officers working within the council. In total, we have 24 officers who are able to serve penalty charge notices, all of which have attended and passed the WAMITAB Level 2 Award for Parking Enforcement Officers. As well as Parking Enforcement, the officers are responsible for policing anti-social behaviour, criminal traffic offences contrary to Road Traffic Act, the Traffic management Act 2004 and environmental crime.

Operational Overview

Officers have the powers to be able to take action against those who are parking in contravention, such as double yellow line parking, and they can also take action against vehicles which are parking in a dangerous or obstructive manner or those which are considered to be abandoned contrary to the Highways Act 1980.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are rapidly increasing on a yearly basis and it is important that we have the appropriate infrastructure in place to facilitate this growing demand.

Stockton are fortunate to offer a number of electric charging points ranging from the standard 3kw to the rapid 50kw chargers which can provide a full charge within 30 minutes. Currently, Stockton Council do not charge for the power however drivers must display a pay and display ticket and there is a one hour maximum stay at the Bishop Street rapid charger. Over the course of the forthcoming year, we will be working with the Tees Valley Combined Authority to look at upgrading our established stock and increasing the number of charge points across the region.

Parking Provision within the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees

Car parking locations and spaces available can be found on our find a car park page.

All pay and display car parks in Stockton have the option of paying by RingGo. This is a cashless method of paying for parking via a mobile phone; it does incur a minimal additional charge. Visit RingGo website for details.

Stockton Council does not allow the use of its car parks for sleeping, camping or cooking. Facilities for this are available at the privately operated White Water Caravan Club and Drovers Way Holiday Caravan Park. 

Stockton Town Centre

There are currently 19 off-street car parks and 14 on-street car parking places in Stockton Town Centre which are all pay and display. Overall there are 1215 parking spaces to be managed (1017 off-street and 198 on-street).

The current tariffs are aimed to encourage short-stay parking within the town centre.  Maximum length of stay restrictions are generally structured to promote short-stay parking, and frequent turnover of spaces within the town centre.  Long stay car parking is located on the periphery of the town centre utilised predominantly by commuters.

There are also limited waiting bays located around the town centre that provide 2 hours free parking that can be found in Dovecot Street and Skinner Street areas, Lawson Street, Farrer Street and Riverside.

There are also two multi-storey car parks within Stockton Town Centre, Wellington Square and Castlegate, operated on behalf of the Council and a further 3 car parks available to commuters and visitors to Stockton that are managed by other organisations. 

Billingham Town Centre

There are six off-street car parks in Billingham town centre all of which are free to park with unlimited duration of stay with the exception of the Aldi car park and the car park between Aldi and B&M which are limited to one and a half hours. Four of the six off-street car parks are managed by another operator. The two off-street car parks managed by the Council are The Forum and Community Centre car parks.

Thornaby Town Centre

Parking in Thornaby town centre is privately managed with a 3 hour limit at the Pavilion Car Park and 2 hours at Asda supermarket.  Some limited on-street parking is also available in the vicinity of the Health Centre.

Yarm Town Centre

Yarm is an historic market town, the High Street is a Principal road, the A67, and is of high importance for traffic movement. The cobbles of Yarm High Street are public highway providing 306 on street short stay spaces. The parking charges cover the entire cobbled area of the High Street, with the first 60 minutes free, £1 for 3 hours (maximum stay) and no return for 3 hours in operation.

In addition, there are 3 Council owned, off street car parks at Castle Dyke Wynd (23 spaces) Yarm Wharf (38 spaces) and The Old Market (16 spaces) that are all predominantly used for long stay parking. All off-street pay and display car parks in Yarm have the option of paying by RingGo.

View our Yarm resident parking scheme page

Parking permits

Residents Permit Parking Zones (RPZs)

Currently within the Borough there are six operational RPZ's, which are located within Stockton West area, Hardwick Estate area, Trinity Gardens area, Eaglescliffe Station area, Yarm High Street and West Street area.

The Council introduces RPZs where there is evidence of residents having difficulty parking in close proximity to their homes due to the use of these areas for prolonged non-resident parking particularly where there is alternative parking provision.

Residents within each zone are entitled to apply for a residents permit in line with the guidance. In addition, residents can also request to purchase a visitor permit if necessary.

The permits allow residents or visitors to park within the specified zone during the hours of operation. Currently there is an annual charge of £10 per resident or visitor permit this contributes towards the cost of administering and enforcing the scheme.

In 2019/20 a total of 920 permits were issued across the zones.

Further information about the council's residents parking schemes can be found on our Resident parking schemes and permits page.

Season Tickets

Season Tickets are available for purchase which allows parking in the Council's long stay car parks both on and off-street Monday to Saturday in Stockton town centre and Yarm. These permits are of particular benefit to those who regularly use the town's car parks, such as commuters, and can be purchased in advance at a cheaper rate than paying on a daily basis. In 2019/20 a total of 23 were purchased.

View our apply for a season ticket page for more information.

Market Permits

Stockton Town Centre is home to the region's largest outdoor Market. In addition, throughout various times of the year there are specialist markets, as well as the 'Stockton Sparkles' Christmas market.

Over the years there has been demand for easy access for market traders to unload their goods and the facility to be able to park close to their stalls has increased.  Market Trader permits are available for traders registered with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to park in specially designated areas on market days which allows for easy transport of their goods. In 2019/20 a total of 9 permits were purchased.

Staff Parking Permits

Staff parking permits for employees of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council are available to be purchased via a salary sacrifice scheme. In 2019/20 956 were issued.

Blue Badge

The Blue Badge Scheme is a national scheme that operates for those registered as disabled to access goods and services, by allowing them to park in close proximity to their destination.

The blue badge permit is available to eligible disabled people irrespective of whether they are travelling as a driver or a passenger.

In 2019/20 4,739 blue badges were issued. The majority of badges are valid for 3 years.

How the Blue Badge scheme is enforced 

The Disabled Persons Parking Badges Act 2013 gave powers to Civil Enforcement Officers employed by the council to inspect and retain a disabled badge if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the badge is:

  • is counterfeit
  • has already been cancelled or reported lost or stolen
  • should have been returned to the issuing authority because it had expired
  • was being misused (including by someone other than the holder when the genuine holder is not involved in the journey

Following a Place Select Committee Scrutiny Review it was recommended that the Council introduce prosecution for fraudulent use of blue badges. Appropriate training for Civic Enforcement Officers was carried out in order to facilitate this and this is now in operation within the Borough.

Enforcement

Civic Enforcement Officers (CEO's) are actively encouraged to act in an ambassadorial role assisting motorists to find alternative parking opportunities where an opportunity to speak with and seek the cooperation of motorists exist. Officers are encouraged to provide help and assistance including directions to encourage visitors and support local residents and business. However, in certain circumstances the controls in place make inappropriate parking an instant contravention such as school entrances and disabled parking areas to ensure that public safety is maintained.

CEO's have powers to issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCN's) for contravention of yellow line parking, loading restrictions, on and off street parking offences, and certain instances of parking across dropped crossings. 

Enforcement is evidence led to ensure that it assists with the delivery of the Council's wider objectives. Streets receiving the highest number of visits are those where contraventions have the greatest impact on road safety, and severely affect free-flowing traffic conditions and motorists are most likely to require assistance to find parking opportunities and avoid potential penalties. Another key role is improving road safety, and reducing congestion outside schools. 

Enforcement also has additional powers to issue removal notices.  There are two principal types of removal notice, these being the 'immediate removal' and the '24-hour removal' which are specifically dependant on the seriousness of the danger or obstruction. There are less commonly used 7 day removal notices for vehicles constituting more of a nuisance opposed to danger or obstruction and a 15 day notice used to serve on landlords in cases of abandonment linked to non public land.

 

Type of noticeNumber of notices issued
Immediate Removal Notices568
24-hour Removal Notices134
7 Day Removal Notice113
15 Day Removal Notice0
Reported as Untaxed368

 

Bus lane Enforcement

The aim of Bus lanes is to give priority to buses and in most cases pedal cycles during the prescribed hours of operation.  Bus lane enforcement is part of a wide range of measures to improve the reliability and punctuality of public transport, in addition to reducing congestion and harmful emissions. Keeping bus lanes free from other traffic reduces delays and ensures buses move swiftly throughout the Borough. 

There are four bus lanes controlled by camera enforcement, these are at the following locations

  • Stockton High Street
  • Norton Road
  • Westbury Street
  • Mandale Road 

329 bus lane PCN's were issued between April 2019 and March 2020.

 

 

Challenges, Representations and Appeals

The purpose of a PCN is to encourage compliance with parking restrictions. The issue of a PCN should act as a deterrent and hopefully through time re-educate drivers to ensure parking regulations are adhered to. CEO's will only issue a PCN where they are convinced from the evidence they have before them that a contravention has occurred. 

The Council is committed to give a fair, transparent and consistent approach to dealing with correspondence at all times throughout the appeals process.

The aim of the Council is to respond to all informal challenges within 14 days, and formal representations within the required 56 days timeframe. For further information on parking policy and enforcement visit our how to pay a parking fine page. or the Patrol UK website.

 

Parking PCN's - Reasons for Cancellation 19/20

The table shows the reasons for cancellation of a PCN following receipt of either an informal challenge or representation. Grounds for challenges and representations can be found our Parking Enforcement Policy.

Cancellation reason 2018/19Number of PCNs cancelled
Challenge - General (eg additional evidence provided)411
Challenge - Blue Badge Warning52
Challenge - Loading15
Challenge - Valid P&D229
Challenge - Valid Permit261
Challenge - CEO Error107
Representation - General (eg additional evidence provided)11
Representation - Over 56 Days3
Representation - Valid P&D1
Representation - Valid Permit3

Total number of cancelled PCNs is 1093.

Statistics

There are two levels of charge for parking contraventions, the more serious contraventions such as parking on waiting restrictions are now charged at the higher level of £70 (£35 if paid within 14 days of issue). Less serious contraventions such as overstaying in an off street car park are charged at the lower level of £50 (£25 if paid within 14 days of issue). The table below shows each of those contraventions and how many have been issued during April 2019 to March 2020.

The Council's current collection rate is 63%. 873 of PCN's were cancelled; therefore around 12% are still being processed at the time of this report.

Penalty charge notices 2019/20

DescriptionTotal PCNs 2019-2020On StreetOff StreetTotal PCN's 2018 - 2019
Number of Higher Level PCN's issued2104 44%1664 89%440 11%1497 38%
Number of Lower Level PCN's issued2693 56%1344 49%1349 51%2448 62%
Total number of PCN's issued4797300817893945

 

Description

Total PCN's 2019 - 2020

Total PCN's 2018 - 2019
Number of PCN's paid2743 57%2485 63%
Number of PCN's paid at discounted rate2223 46%1553 39%
Number of PCN's against which formal or informal representations were made1493 31%1266 32%
Number of PCN's cancelled as a result of formal or informal representation1166 24%788 20%
Number of PCN's cancelled for other reasons (for example CEO error or driver untraceable)89 2%85 2%

 

 

PCN's issued by Contravention 2019/20

Higher level on street 

ContraventionNumber of PCN's issuedPercentage
Parked in a restricted street during prescribed hours (01)64914%

Parked in a permit space or zone without clearly displaying a valid permit (16)

2225%
Parked in a residents' or shared use parking place or zone without clearly displaying a permit or voucher or P&D ticket issued for that place (12)1714%

Parked or loading/unloading in a restricted street where waiting and

loading/unloading restrictions are in force (02)

1553%
Parked in a loading place during restricted hours without loading (25)912%
Parked in a designated disabled person's parking place without displaying a valid disabled person's badge in the prescribed manner (40)882%
Stopped in a restricted area outside a school, a hospital, or a fire, police or ambulance station when prohibited (48)782%
Clearway (46)491%
Parked in a special enforcement area adjacent to a footway, cycle track or verge lowered to meet the level of the carriageway (27)431%
Parked in a parking place or area not designated for that class of vehicle (23)411%
Parked on a taxi rank (45)341%
Stopped on a restricted bus stop or stand (47)230%
Parked in a special enforcement area more than 50 cm from the edge of the carriageway and not within a designated parking place (26)100%
Stopped on a pedestrian crossing or crossing area marked by zigzags (99)50%
Suspended Bay (21)40%
Police Space (42)10%
Parked wholly or partly on a mandatory cycle lane (49)00%

Total number of contraventions issued for higher level on street is 1664.

 

Lower level on street

ContraventionNumber of PCN's issuedPercentage
Parked without clearly displaying a valid P & D ticket or voucher (06)51811%
Parked after the expiry of paid for time (05)3597%
Parked for longer than permitted (30)3417%
Parked in a residents' or shared use parking place or zone either displaying an invalid permit or voucher or pay & display ticket, or after the expiry of paid for time (19)701%
Not parked correctly within the markings of the bay or space (24)471%
Meter Feeding (07)50%
Re-parked in the same parking place or zone within the prescribed time period (22)40%

Total number of contraventions issued for lower level on street is 1344.

 

Higher level off street

ContaventionNumber of PCN's issuedPercentage
Parked in a car park or area not designated for that class of vehicle (91)3066%
Parked in a restricted area in a car park (81)701%
Parked in a designated disabled persons parking place without displaying a valid disabled persons badge in the prescribed manner (87)591%
Not Loading (70)50%

Total number of contraventions issued for higher level off street is 440.

 

Lower level off street

ContaventionNumber of PCN's issuedPercentage
Parked in a car park without clearly displaying a valid P & D ticket or voucher or parking clock (83)75516%
Parked after the expiry of paid for time (82)47910%
Parked beyond the bay markings (86)1052%
Meter Feeding (84)60%
Exceeded Maximum Stay (80)40%

Total number of contraventions issued for lower level off street is 1349.

Total number of PCNs in 2018/19 is 4797.

PCN's issued per ward 2019/20

Name of wardNumber of PCN's issuedPercentage
Stockton Town Centre260854.24%
Yarm104622%
Billingham Central4189%
Hardwick1804%
Norton North892%
Mandale and Victoria882%
Norton South862%
Ingleby Barwick West761%
Eaglescliffe781.48%
Parkfield And Oxbridge691%
Bishopsgarth and Elm Tree140%
Ingleby Barwick East120%
Billingham West100%
Billingham South50%
Hartburn50%
Northern Parishes40%
Newtown40%
Village30%
Billingham East30%
Stainsby Hill20%
Norton West20%
Roseworth10%
Grangefield10%
Fairfield00%
Billingham North00%
Western Parishes00%

The total number of PCN's issued is 4808.

 

Financial information

Income from on-street parking charges and on and off-street penalty charge notices must be used to meet the cost of the provision and maintenance by the local authority of on and off-street parking accommodation in their area under the Traffic Management Act 2004.

In line with best practice, the Council has operated the parking service including income from off-street charging car parks in Stockton Town Centre on a self financing basis with a slight operating surplus to contribute to the cost of parking improvements and support for non-commercial bus services. The figures below show the income and expenditure to the Parking account for 2019 -20. 

Use Of Surpluses

The net surplus in the parking account in 2019/20 was £306,763 and contributes towards:

  • back office upgrade for PCN case management
  • upgrades to the card readers in Yarm
  • internal upgrades on the machines
  • removal of redundant infrastructure poles in car parks

Income

CategorySum of Amount
PCN Income£108,093
Off-Street Parking£214,114
On-Street Charges£186,721
Blue Badge£54,163
Staff Permit Scheme£114,094
Other Fees & Charges£16,998

Income Sum = £694,183

Expenditure

CategorySum of Amount
Employees-£121,216
Premises-£113,649
Transport-£879
Supplies & Services-£109,987
Other Payments-£9,234
Blue Badge-£32,455

Expenditure Sum = -£387,420

Grand Total Income and Expenditure = £306,763