The proposed changes would support council staff carrying out essential duties away from work or home
Southampton City Council has launched a formal consultation on proposals to make council staff exempt from parking restrictions while carrying out essential duties.
Currently, staff working on site typically use Limited Waiting bays or pay for parking and later claim the funds back. Council officers have now proposed limited exemptions to the existing Traffic Regulation Order which would allow council employees or representatives to park in Resident Permit Parking, Limited Waiting and Pay and Display bays while carrying out essential duties away from council offices or home working locations.
If approved, the proposed changes would support employees in a wide number of areas across the council’s work, including those making home visits to vulnerable residents and staff carrying out necessary repairs and maintenance across the city.
Exemptions would apply for staff parking in both private and fleet vehicles, as well as for the Mayor while carrying out Mayoral duties. These are as follows:
- Essential Duties Scratch Cards - to be displayed by employees or representatives in private vehicles while parked in Resident Permit Parking, Limited Waiting or Long Stay Pay and Display bays. These would be valid Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm for up to two hours. Staff would not be able to return to the same street on the same day. Staff will need to submit an online exemption form if they expect to be parked for more than two hours or wish to park in Zones 20, 21, 22 or Pay and Display bays where the maximum period of stay is four hours or longer. Dispensation would not be granted for Pay and Display bays where the maximum period of stay is less than four hours
- Fleet Vehicle Permit – to be displayed by employees or representatives in fleet or hire vehicles while parked in Resident Permit Parking, Limited Waiting and Long Stay Pay and Display bays. These would be valid Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm
- Mayor’s Vehicle Permit – to be displayed by the Mayor in the designated Mayor’s vehicle while parked in Resident Permit Parking, Limited Waiting and Pay and Display bays. This would be valid Monday to Sunday for up to four hours. If longer stays are required, the Mayor’s Office can request these by emailing Parking Services
The consultation can be completed by residents online and is open until 10 December 2021.
Councillor Jeremy Moulton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth, says: "We are happy to bring these officer-led proposals forward for consultation. They will support our many staff who, on a daily basis, are out on the ground delivering important frontline services to benefit our 250k+ residents. From social workers making home visits to our busy City Services teams, the proposed changes will help us carry out our most essential duties with greater ease and result in better efficiencies across these vital areas of work. They will also help to reduce the administrative costs associated with reimbursing parking expenses. We nonetheless welcome the views of the wider community on these proposals and encourage everyone to get involved and share their feedback before the consultation deadline."
The proposed Parking Permits / Scratch Cards must only be used for the purpose of carrying out essential council duties remote from the office or home working environment. They must not therefore be used while parking at home or the office, or for any non-work-related purpose.
Members of the public would be able to challenge the use of a Parking Permit / Scratch Card and the relevant council department would be required to give a timely response explaining why the Parking Permit / Scratch Card was displayed on the occasion in question.
Misuse of the proposed Parking Permits / Scratch Cards would be investigated by the council and appropriate action taken.
The Mayor’s Permit relates to the office of the Mayor, which is held by a different councillor every year. It has not been proposed for any one individual.