Changes to parking restrictions in St Albans during coronavirus crisis
PUBLISHED: 06:59 26 March 2020
Danny Loo Photography 2018
On-street parking restrictions are being eased throughout St Albans district to help key workers and residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Civil enforcement officers – formerly known as traffic wardens – have been instructed to take action only against unsafe or inconsiderate parking.
The changes will come into effect immediately as part of St Albans district council’s response to the public health emergency.
Key workers and volunteers looking after vulnerable people and maintaining vital services will not have to worry about having the right parking permit.
Officers will instead focus on protecting disabled bays, stopping driveways from being blocked and preventing dangerous parking near junctions. They will also ensure roads remain clear enough for refuse trucks and emergency vehicles to get through, and will maintain access to loading bays and car parks.
Residents working from home, who are usually away at work with their vehicle, will not need to make an emergency permit application or use up visitor vouchers.
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As roads are likely to become busier with more people working from home, free overnight parking at council car parks is being extended to help people who cannot find a space near their home.
This will be available to everyone from 5pm to 9.30am, instead of to resident permit holders only from 6.30pm to 7.30am.
Lifts at multi-storey car parks will be out of action because if anyone becomes stuck in a lift it may be difficult to get an engineer out promptly.
The council is also looking at ways of providing free parking to key workers at its car parks during the crisis.
Council leader Cllr Chris White said: “The new parking regime will help NHS staff, social care workers, volunteers and others who are on the frontline in the battle against the virus. It will also help residents who suddenly find themselves at home unexpectedly.
“We are asking that people park safely and show consideration to others by not blocking driveways or causing other problems.”
Anyone living in a Controlled Parking Zone who is having parking difficulties is advised to contact the council on 01727 869593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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