Parking: Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ was originally created off the back of meetings held specifically for the areas of Chesterton County Division north of milton road (the Hurst park Estate and surrounds).

The original list of questions came from a meeing I held with residents of the area above, hence some of it is specific to that area;  I've now added specific questions relevant to other areas.

Latest updates - 2019-01-18.

1. How have we got to here?

 The current situation is summarised here:

and for the triangle area here:

Where it started:


2. Will there be enough parking left to avoid people concreting overrgardens?


Private individuals can always make alterations to their properties within planning constraints or restrictive covenants, and we cannot control that within a resident parking scheme.


3. How set in stone is the process? Can the areas be broken down into smaller sections?


The funding is available via the City Deal for the areas agreed via CJAC at this meeting:


Although zones 5 and 10 have been combined in this scheme, they can be split apart and dealt with seperately.  Minor changes can be made with the agreement of the local County Councillor and officers.


4. How many permits can households apply for?


Each household can apply for up to 3 permits. The policy allows for this maximum to be set lower for each scheme – i.e. a maximum of 2 permits or just 1.


5. Isn't Mulberry Close private? Do they get a say?


Officers are currently looking into this, the initial thought is that it isn't private.

Update 2017-10-14  As a result of this blog post, the chair of the close management company has been in contact and is providing documents to the County Council to confirm the roads are adopted. 

6. H-Bars in front of driveways – what are they, are they necessary?


Access protection markings, ‘H’ bars, mark the length of a dropped kerb. They help to make drivers aware of any access points which must not be obstructed. Parking a vehicle across a dropped kerb is classed as an obstruction and can be enforced by the Police.  A dropped kerb with ‘H’ bar can be again be enforced by the Police, but also  via the County Council at the homeowner request.

7. What happened to the double yellow lines at the end of hurst park avenue?


These have been implemented.


8. When whatever scheme is voted on, will councillors vote by majority or conscience?


When this question was asked I was unsure whether to read into it or not – it's really hard to understand how any would vote with anything but conscience.


Personally though, I would be aiming to send any scheme to consultation ONLY when I was convinced it was both as fair as possible to all residents AND had majority support, which I why I refused to this for this scheme.


9. What else is going on across the City, why is this happening?

Multiple schemes are in progress across the City in line with the policy voted through at the County Council Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee.

The City Deal is putting up the money as it needs ways to meet it's objective of reducing congestion - the argument is that resident zones reduce commuter parking and this reduces congestion.

Personally, I think this is a very thin justification - although it will have an affect, it is hardly a major one, and residents must have a say:  too much of the City Deal is things being done to Cambridge rather than for Cambridge.


10. When does get to formal commmittes like North Area Committee?


The final decision on this will be made by Cambridge Joint Area Committee, though updates will be given to North Area Committee. When it gets to it, depends when it is sent to formal consultation, if it all, which is depedent on when and if residents can agree what they want.


11. How does this take into account new developments, many of which have no parking allocated?


Essentially it doesn't: the scheme can only be design with what is currently in place, although we can be mindful of what is in the pipeline locally, we can only deal with what we know about.


12. There are a number of mistakes on the draft plans, eg missing dropped kerbs. How can we be sure that County engineers are accurate?


Essentially there may be oversights in the process, not all maps available are up to date, but there will be multiple opportunities to check and double check before the final designs are given to contractors, in the event of a scheme going ahead.


13. What sort of parking controls can we have?


Parking controls can take many forms, but must be clear and unambiguous.  They are governed by legislation: with a manual here:


Some examples are:


a) No parking at any time (double yellow lines).


b) No parking at certain defined times (e.g. "No parking between 1pm – 5pm, Monday – Friday").


c) Parking for limited periods of time (e.g. "Parking for 3 hours; no return within 1 hour").


d) Combinations of b) and c) (e.g. "No parking between 10am – 5pm, maximum stay 3 hours, no return within 3 hours.".


14. What are you doing to discourage dropped kerbs?


Nothing specifically: but in order to drop a kerb, the County Council's permission is required.


15. Cost of scheme to residents?


If residents pay for permits, these cost in the region of £60-100 a year, but this will depend on the final design of whatever scheme is chosen.

If residents choose not to buy permits, the will pay nothing.


16. Can we have a zone like Silverwood Close or The VIE Estate


The problem with zones (PPAs) – which don't require lots of marked bays or lines, is that they need to be in a clearly definable area. The VIE is a new build estate with a legally definable freehold. Silverwood close is a cul de sac.

Recently there is a new precedent in the City, in the croft area of Newnham, for an area that doesn't meet the criteria above, but has been defined as a zone.  This opens up the possibility of replicating this precedent elsewhere.


17. Will everyone start parking on grass verges if controls are implemented?


Obviously we can't predict what people will do, but it is worth noting that controls apply to the whole 'carriageway' – the road and the pavement and any grass verges, so anyone parking on the latter can be enforced against.

18.  Will any scheme reduce the amount of available parking?  Why?

ANY form of controlled parking scheme will reduce the amount of space in which residents or non-residents can park.  The most obvious reason for this is that parking bays have to be a specific size and obviously when smaller vehicles park there is "wasted" space.


19.  Do we have to have marked lines/signs etc? 

Unfortunately, yes, to some degree, depending on the type of controls chosen:  the legal forms of parking controls are covered by a document called the Traffic Signs, signals and general directions manual

This prescribes various things - including the need to draw marked bays for residents schemes of set sizes, unless a zone is marked, but see question 16.

20. What happens now?


The posts in question 1 outlined what happened, and how in general I (Ian Manning) approach these sorts of issues.

To see how I've dealt with these projects before, please read these two documents:

 Mariner's Way

The VIE Estate

21.  Why is Herbert Street loosing half its parking?

This is a specific example of question 18.  Parking bays have to be 1.8m wide under the regulations.  Once you've drawn those both sides of the road (ie 3.6m total width) there isn't enough road width 'left'.

The minimum pavement width is 1.5m, a marked parking bay 1.8m and the required free carriageway width 3.1m.  

A free carriageway width of 3.1 m is required between marked bays.

  • With parking to one side, an overall width of 4.9 m.
  • With parking on both sides, an overall width of 6.7 m.

Further to this, I (Cllr Ian Manning) spent a significant amount of time investigating ways of having resident parking (with or without bays) on one side of the road and not banning parking on the other, but also not having resident parking.

This came down to the legal view of the Council being that it takes on liability for parking on a road when it brings in a scheme.  If it brings in a scheme which could mean that cars can then block the road (for eg emergency access), the Council could be liable because it hasn't 'told' residents (via yellow lines) where not to park.

I then followed this up with lawyers to see if it was possible to pass this liability to residents in the scheme.  There were lots of possible issues with this, but the final view, after a significant amount of discussion and legal advice, was that because of a common law principle as follows:

There is a common law legal principle that a local authority may not enter into a contract or other agreement which:

  • Is incompatible with the due exercise of its powers.
  • Is incompatible with the discharge of its functions.
  • Divests the authority of its statutory powers.
  • Obliges the authority not to exercise its powers.

Therefore I must advise that the council cannot enter into any kind of an agreement with residents which would result in the authority divesting itself of its statutory duties by passing the liability to residents.

22.  Where can I find the County Council's parking policy?

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