On-street Parking

If designed carefully into a development, on-street parking can serve a useful function. Visual quality, traffic flow and pedestrian safety are only compromised when the cars overwhelm the design performance of the street type. Cars inconsiderately parked on pavements or in front of entrances are symptoms of inadequate street management and unsuitable street types for higher-density developments.

This guidance is intended to resolve this issue in a combination of five ways:

  • By ensuring that compact development is located in the most accessible locations, making it likely that cars are used less often.
  • Through the introduction of new approved street types that are designed to accommodate short-stay parking.
  • Through the requirement to place adequate levels of parking in secure, communal facilities while making provision for short-stay, on-street parking.
  • Through the possible introduction of private management arrangements.
  • By ensuring that opportunities exist for the conversion or adaption of car parking bays in future.

It is also permissible to design new streets to accommodate some on-street parking spaces. These would be controlled by parking permits as part of a wider strategy for area management, and can be provided as part of the overall parking provision for the site.

As stated within the Parking Standards, some on-street parking (in bays) must be provided for visitors. This should be limited so as not to dominate the street scene and may be better clustered in small groups at convenient points. However, consideration should be given to ensuring accessibility to convenient parking for the ageing population and less mobile people.

Outside these designated spaces, physical constraints and parking management should be employed to make parking elsewhere unlikely.

If the streets are to be adopted by the Highway Authority, parking restrictions should be signalled through the use of traffic signs at the entrances to the development; yellow line markings should not be used. Further guidance on car parking standards for all development can be found in the Essex Parking Standards.

As the way we move about our towns and cities evolves, due in no small part to the anticipated increase in the use of autonomous and on-demand vehicles, changes will occur not only in terms of the location and number of parking spaces, but in the dimensions of those spaces and how smart technology can be employed to make parking more efficient. This could include automated identification of parking-space availability by sensors in kerbs, surfaces or street furniture, directing vehicles to free spaces – which could in turn reduce circulating traffic and minimise the number of required parking spaces. Although this technology is still evolving and the precise forms it will eventually take remain uncertain, developers should already be considering how their schemes might respond to such changes, and should ensure they build adaptiveness into current designs.


Page updated: 16/02/2018


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