In line with the government lifting of lockdown restrictions to allow non-essential retailers to recommence trading in June, Woking Borough Council is reintroducing all parking restrictions to manage the expected increase in vehicles visiting the town.
To provide extra capacity for residents’ cars whilst they were staying at home during lockdown and to ensure that the public were able to safely access the town centre, the Council took the decision to temporarily suspend parking restrictions across the Borough in March of this year.
Simultaneously, pay and display charges for on-street parking were also paused by Surrey County Council and single yellow line restrictions were relaxed. Double yellow line, loading bay and disabled bay enforcement remained unchanged throughout lockdown.
Enforcement across the Borough will now be reinstated in phases, with penalty charge notices for single yellow line offences the first to return.
- Monday 15 June: single yellow line restrictions will be reinstated in Woking town centre.
- Monday 29 June: single yellow line restrictions will be reinstated in residential areas. On-street pay and display machines will be in operation.
- Wednesday 1 July: Council-owned car parks across Borough will resume charges.
Applications for parking new permits will open again from Monday 15 June 2020. Any existing permits that were still valid at the start of lockdown will be extended and permit holders have been contacted.
Cllr Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Parking Services, said: “At the beginning of lockdown it became apparent very quickly that there was an unprecedented amount of cars parked in residential areas, as the majority of the population were instructed to stay at home.
“The Council therefore took the critical decision to suspend parking restrictions, with the exception of those required for safety such as double yellow lines and disabled bays.
“This enabled residents to park their vehicles securely and without added stress at a time of heightened tension. The suspension of parking charges also allowed the public to access essential shops quickly and safely where they did need to venture out for necessary items.
“Now that lockdown is easing, and the majority of businesses are reopening from Monday 15 June, it is appropriate to resume parking enforcement, to minimise disruption to residential streets as vehicle movement increases. The reintroduction of restrictions will enable resident parking to remain accessible for permit holders, and commuter and shopper parking to be redirected to the town centre facilities.
“We have kept charges in the town centre car parks free for an additional two weeks to support the return to business as usual and allow traders to welcome customers back to a safe shopping experience.
“A new series of measures will be introduced within the car parks which puts safety first, including only one pay station open per area, doors that are not fire doors to remain open, new signage and an enhanced cleaning regime, all of which are designed to ensure maximum hygiene and safety in every area. We ask visitors to follow signage within the carparks so we can keep a safe environment for all.”
Meanwhile the Council is urging residents and visitors right across the borough and in every neighbourhood to continue to observe social distancing guidelines in all public spaces which it said are essential to help keep everyone safe.