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Westminster City Council

Annual Parking Review 2009/2010 1

Westminster City Council Westminster City Hall 020 7641 6000


64 Victoria Street westminster.gov.uk
London SW1E 6QP
Westminster City Council Annual Parking Review 2009/2010 2 Westminster City Council Annual Parking Review 2009/2010 3

Foreword Overview
The Traffic Management Act 2004 sets clear standards and guidance for local authorities to follow
Welcome to Westminster’s Annual Parking Review for 2009/10. when setting and considering its approach to transport and parking policy. The Act states that, “A
Keeping traffic moving is crucial to Westminster’s success. We need to good Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) regime is one that uses quality-based standards that the
make sure that all our road users can get around Westminster and find public understands, and which are enforced fairly, accurately and expeditiously.
space to stop where they need to, without obstructing others from going “Enforcement authorities should aim to increase compliance with parking restrictions through
about their business. clear, well designed, legal and enforced parking controls. CPE provides a means by which an
At the same time, however, parking can be a controversial topic, and that’s why this report is so authority can effectively deliver wider transport strategies and objectives. Enforcement authorities
important. It shows you how Westminster’s parking service actually works – for example, how many should not view CPE in isolation or as a way of raising revenue.”
Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) we issued over the year, and how many people paid to park. It continues, “CPE is a means of achieving transport policy objectives. For good governance,
As well as being Europe’s largest parking authority, we want to be the most innovative. For enforcement authorities need to forecast revenue and expenditure in advance. But raising revenue
example, we were the first authority to offer roll out the convenience of pay-by-phone parking, should not be an objective of CPE, nor should authorities set targets for revenue or the number of
which now accounts for over 85% of transactions. In the past year we’ve seen fewer PCN Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) they issue.“
appeals and an improvement in our performance at the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service. 2009-10 saw a reduction by over a quarter in the number of Penalty Charge Notices issued by the
By making these figures freely available, we’re enabling you to look at our work over the previous Council to vehicles parked or driver in contravention of traffic policies. By contrast, the number of
year and form your own opinions of our service. I hope you find this information useful in helping vehicles using our roads and parking in Westminster appeared to continue to rise – with a 10%
you to understand our service. increase in revenue in on-street paid-for parking. Total revenue from parking fell by 15% to
£69.3m, primarily as a result of fewer PCNs being issued. The overall net surplus income - the
amount generated as an indirect result of the Council’s policies to keep Westminster moving –
fell 12% to £30.1m. The City Council is bound to re-invest any surplus in legislatively prescribed
activities – which included this year in the parking service itself, in general transportation
Cllr Lee Rowley infrastructure and in concessionary travel schemes for local residents.

Introduction
This annual report provides information on the activities of the Parking Service in 2009/10. It
details the service’s achievements in delivering innovative and sustainable improvements over
the past year and looks ahead to future developments and opportunities.

The report also includes parking and enforcement statistics, as well as financial information with
comparative data from previous years.

Westminster City Council’s Parking Service aims to be at the forefront of the development and
implementation of new and relevant parking initiatives. We aim to promote best practice and
continual quality improvement across the service and within the parking industry as a whole.

Our commitment to our customers is to be firm, fair and excellent in our approach to and
delivery of parking services in the City of Westminster.

Firm
• Our aim is to consistently and effectively enforce against parking contraventions.

Fair
• We are committed to delivering a parking service that gives motorists the best possible
opportunity to comply with parking rules and regulations.

Excellent
• We wish to provide the blueprint parking service to which other authorities aspire.
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Commentary Additional Residents and “Shared Use” parking bays by zone:

Cashless parking Zone New Bays


In the last annual report it was confirmed that Westminster City Council had moved to a fully A Zone 133
cashless system for on-street parking. This scheme was introduced both for the convenience and
security of motorists, and also to address ongoing losses of public funds via the theft of parking B Zone 178
meters containing cash.
C Zone 71
The council continues to operate a fully cashless scheme with two main payment methods: Pay by
D Zone 164
Phone (PbP), topping 86% by year end, and card only Pay and Display machines accounting for
the remainder. PbP offers considerable flexibility including the ability to top up a parking session if E Zone 235
you cannot get back to your vehicle.
F Zone 131
Parking Cards are still available as a third option for those who do not wish to use a mobile
phone or credit / debit card, but take up of these remains very low at around 0.25% of all G Zone 101
parking payments.
Total 1013
The data available from the two main payment channels has supported two parking led initiatives.
The first is the roll-out of a car club scheme under the Westminster brand, and the second was a
substantial increase in the number of resident parking bays.
Motorcycle charging
Westminster Car Club Following a programme of work to increase capacity for motorcycle parking in the city in 2007, the
The Westminster Car Club launched in May 2009 as an on-street car sharing scheme offering council introduced its motorcycle charging scheme in August 2008. This introduced a £1.50 daily
Westminster residents a self-service, on-demand alternative to car ownership. Westminster has charge to park a motorcycle in a motorcycle bay in Westminster. A range of longer term permits
partnered with Zipcar to give residents the accessibility and freedom to use a car for leisure or was also made available via the council’s Pay by Phone system, with an annual motorcycle permit
business without the hassle of owning or running their own vehicle. costing £150. This charging regime was introduced via an experimental traffic order to enable the
council to gauge reaction to the scheme before a decision regarding its permanence was made.
Unlike other car clubs, Westminster’s scheme offers a range of additional benefits to local
residents, including a reduced membership fee of £25 (Zipcar’s usual fee is £50), £25 driving Following a six month formal consultation period, the decision was made to make the scheme
credit, and one hour free parking in Westminster. permanent in May 2009, but with amendments. From 1st June 2009, prices were reduced by
one-third (the daily charge became £1 and an annual motorcycle permit £100), residents’ permit
Westminster Car Club currently has 100 vehicles across the city, with a Car Club car available holders were permitted to park their bikes in motorcycle bays borough-wide without further charge
within 10 minutes’ walk of every resident. We have the greenest car club fleet in the UK with 20 and off-street motorcycle parking in our car parks became free of charge.
hybrid and two plug-in electric cars. There will be a further 100 vehicles rolled-out by May 2011,
with the first 20 being introduced by the end of December, including two further plug-in cars. At After a further extended consultation period, the permanent traffic orders came into force on 25th
present, the Westminster Car Club has over 2,500 members. January 2010. The permanent orders reduced the price of a residents’ permit for a motorcycle to
£50 per annum.
Our long term aspiration is to encourage a step change in driver behaviour, whilst contributing to
the council’s sustainable agenda and delivering a real community benefit. A recent survey of Residents’ permits for motorcycles have since become ‘virtual’ electronic permits, meaning that
members indicated that 28% have given up their vehicle since joining the club. resident motorcyclists need not display a paper permit on their bike to obtain the concessions that
the permit affords.
Living City commitment
Dropped footways
In March 2009, the Leader of Westminster City Council unveiled the ambitious Living City
programme to renew the heart of London in time for the 2012 Olympic Games. One of the council’s An information campaign was carried out in late 2008, alerting motorists to the nuisance caused by
key measures was introducing 1,000 additional residents’ parking spaces to make it easier for local vehicles being inconsiderately parked adjacent to dropped footways. Following this campaign, we
people to park. This piece of work was completed in April 2010 by converting paid-for bays to began the enforcement of dropped footway contraventions in February 2009, initially by Warning
“shared use” parking (so that they can also be used by residents with permits), extending existing Notice and then by full PCN.
residents’ bays and converting unused sections of yellow line.
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Dropped footways are where the footway is lowered to enable pedestrians to cross the road or to Parking is changing
enable vehicular access across the footway. In line with the Highway Code, restrictions apply at all
times, even in areas where single yellow line restrictions end at 6.30pm. The council let a new Parking Enforcement contract in July 2010, which will run until 2014.

Since the commencement of enforcement we have steadily increased the number of locations The new four-year deal was awarded to NSL Services resulting in savings for the taxpayers of
where the restrictions are enforced. Westminster of £10million over the four years.

The new contract is intended to be substantially different from any previous parking contract the
Visitors’ Parking Scheme
council has let and, we hope, is in the vanguard of a new type of contract that will become
In June 2009 we introduced a pilot Visitors’ Parking Scheme, which is ongoing. The aim is to widely used across the country, continuing the City Council’s trend to pioneer new parking
enable visitors to park more conveniently by converting specific under-utilised resident-only bays policies.
into shared use bays between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Visitors are then able to pay for their
In a major shift to help improve relations with motorists, this contract is the first to focus on
parking as per a standard paid-for parking bay using Pay by Phone or by displaying a pay and
improving compliance levels in an attempt to encourage in excess of 95% of drivers to comply
display ticket or parking card.
with parking rules. The objective is to educate them so they do not get a ticket in the first place
The scheme has involved the creation of approximately 500 shared-use spaces within existing and stop inconveniencing the vast majority of motorists in the city who park correctly.
resident-only bays in the Queens Park, Abbey Road and Regent’s Park areas.
Having regained the parking enforcement contract in Westminster, NSL Services will focus on
The scheme is being continued but will be appraised during the Parking Policy Review. improving compliance and promoting legal parking by engaging more directly with motorists.
(see page 7)
Only a small proportion of our Civil Enforcement Officers’ time involves taking the appropriate
action against illegally parked cars, with the rest of their time is spent advising drivers where they
Working with businesses
can park legally and for how long, reporting defects in signs and lines, or assisting the police by
Following on from the work we have undertaken with the Freight Trade Association since 2007 reporting street crime or anti social behaviour. A new uniform has been designed for the Civil
we have continued to try to make it easier for commercial vehicles to function in the City of Enforcement Officers so that they are more visible to the general public to assist with their
Westminster. In 2009/10, we introduced extra parking concessions for brewery vehicles, Cash parking or general enquiries.
and Valuables in Transit (CVIT) vehicles, blood delivery vehicles and those vehicles collecting
clinical and hazardous waste. Parking policy review
Given the wide range of users, services and attractions in Westminster, the council requires an
Wireless CCTV
approach to parking that balances the needs of our residents with those of our visitors and yet
In March 2009, the Department for Transport required Westminster City Council to stop using supports businesses by keeping traffic moving.
wireless cameras for parking enforcement. This was because our wireless digital cameras did not
In the autumn of 2010 the council will carry out a fundamental review of its parking policy to help
meet the necessary resolution to obtain approved device certification, as required under the Traffic
us to understand how people travel and park around the city. We can then respond in a way which
Management Act 2004. The DfT’s decision was robustly contested by the council on the basis that
will enable us to meet the challenges of the coming decade.
the deficiency was considered to be minor, of no material effect to the quality of the image and
bureaucratic. The DfT rejected our challenge and the council was obligated to invest in the upgrade. A questionnaire will be sent out to understand how people use the parking services and what
changes are required.
Following a programme of technical upgrades undertaken by our partners, the Vehicle Certification
Agency (VCA) certified our cameras and network for use in parking enforcement on 1st March 2010. In addition to this review we are also exploring other initiatives in 2010/11 such as:
The cameras are deployed at locations where they can help deliver the council’s objectives in • i mplementing a new fully online resident permit application process including moving to
respect of traffic management and crime and disorder. They serve multiple roles and are deployed virtual permits
following specific concerns, such as at known accident and congestion hotspots.
• m
aking use of new legislation to deal with persistent offenders including unregistered and
As cameras were rolled out, a continuous review of the locations of all cameras deployed across foreign vehicles
the city was undertaken, to determine whether they should be moved from their current sites.
Cameras will be relocated from existing sites when compliance has achieved the expected level. • use of new technology to support on-street operations.
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On-street parking Total expenditure decreased by 17% compared to 2008/09, to £39.1m. This is primarily due to
reductions in our PCN administration contract costs.
Paid-for parking now accounts for the largest share of all parking revenue, exceeding revenue
from enforcement (PCNs) for the first time.

The reduction in revenue from enforcement has declined in line with the reduction in the number of
PCNs being issued for 2009/10. There are two main methods of payment accepted for on-street
paid-for parking: Pay by Phone, which accounts for around 86% (up 1.6% from 2008/09) of all
The total surplus fell by 12% to £30.1m with the majority of contributions from the Parking Place Reserve
parking transactions, and card only (debit or credit) pay and display machines, which account for
Account (PPRA) being shared amongst Transportation and Infrastructure schemes and projects,
the remainder.
including maintenance. The PPRA also contributes to the funding of concessionary travel schemes like
the Freedom Pass, which gives older and disabled residents free travel on London transport.
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Revenue and expenditure Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)

The overall volume of PCNs issued in 2009/10 fell by 27% compared to 2008/9, with the largest
shift being in yellow line contraventions (down 46%). Throughout the year, the Council took on
board feedback regarding its current policies and continued to make amendments where it was
deemed appropriate to ensure policies were ‘firm and fair’.
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The graph above shows informal challenges and formal representations received as a
percentage of PCNs issued. Informal challenges have continued to rise, but the proportion
of formal representations has dropped significantly compared to previous years as a result
PCNs can be paid at a discounted rate (50% reduction) for the first 14 days after issue, after
of quality improvements.
which they must be paid at full cost. The percentage of PCNs paid at the discounted rate
remains relatively constant at around 53%, whilst the total percentage of PCNs paid in 2009/10
sits at 66%.

A proportion of PCNs that remain unpaid relate to those issued to persistent evaders, or/and
unregistered or foreign vehicles. New legislation in the London Local Authorities and Transport
for London Act 2008 to tackle persistent evaders will allow this problem to be addressed and the
council is awaiting the outcome of a pilot being coordinated by London Councils.
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The graph shows the percentage of PCNs cancelled. The increase in PCNs cancelled for This graph shows the proportion of PCN appeals received by the Parking and Traffic Appeals
mitigation is as a result of the implementation of the council’s common sense measures. Service (PATAS) as a percentage of PCNs issued. The London average is about 1.5%. During
the financial year 2009/10 the Parking Appeals for Westminster City Council entered a period of
Note: ‘Mitigation’ refers to instances where a motorist put forward extenuating circumstances, positive change. In 2008 over 3% of PCNs issued went to Appeal; this volume was reduced
made a genuine error or provided proof of loading. ‘Issue Error’ refers to when the CEO made significantly during 2009/10 and now sits just above 1.5%. The reduction in the number of PCNs
an error issuing the PCN or encountered a problem in the issuing process. being appealed is linked to a number of quality improvement initiatives being delivered.
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Service performance
Throughout 2009/10 we have met our performance targets whilst ensuring we provide a quality
service. The graphs below show performance against our key performance indicators.

The volume of cases not contested by the council has also improved and we expect this trend
to continue.
The graph above displays the average number of days we have taken to respond to PCN
challenges. We have exceeded our target of responding within 10 days throughout the year.

The graph displays the significant improvement in cases won at appeal (refused) by the There were 168 complaints received between April 2009 and March 2010 which reflects less
council. An increase of 25% has been seen since 2006/7 as result of quality improvements, than 1% of all PCNs issued within the financial year.
changes in policy, consideration and feedback.
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Parking permits and suspensions


In April 2008 we reviewed and streamlined the application process to make it easier for residents
to renew their permits, to protect the scheme against fraud and to help drive resident satisfaction
with parking services. The number of permits in use reduced significantly by April 2009 and has
increased only very slightly one year on.

We aim to answer 75% of all calls to Parking Services within 20 seconds. The graph above
shows that we have exceeded this in all service areas for 2009/10.

Note: OOH refers to our out of hours service, which currently operates from 6pm until 8am.

There are currently just over 35,000 permits in use and approximately 32,000 resident bays.
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Resident permits by zone Permits for disabled drivers

Maps for each of our zones can be found here: www.westminster.gov.uk/services/


transportandstreets/parking/residentsparking/resident_parking_zone_maps/
The Blue Badge Scheme is a national scheme for providing on-street parking concessions for
people with severe walking difficulties to park close to their destinations. However, the
concessions for this scheme do not fully apply within Westmisnter. Therefore the white badge
scheme is specifically for those whom live and work within the City of Westmisnter and it is valid
for that area only.
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This graph above displays the number of Motorcycle permits in use.

Vehicle Type No of Permits


Annual Electric Motorcycle 51 The number of suspensions issued remained relatively static in 2009/10 despite the
Annual Motorcycle 3,396 economic climate.
Daily Electric Motorcycle 243
Daily Motorcycle 324,807
Monthly Electric Motorcycle 2
Monthly Motorcycle 9,442
Other Electric Motorcycle 1
Other Motorcycle 1658
Quarterly Electric Motorcycle 3
Quarterly Motorcycle 2,674
Weekly Electric Motorcycle 56
Weekly Motorcycle 60,089
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Westminster City Council Westminster City Hall 020 7641 6000
64 Victoria Street westminster.gov.uk
London SW1E 6QP