New car parking measures have come into force in St Albans District during the lockdown to respond to the needs of residents.
Pressure on street spaces has grown with more people working from home rather than travelling by car to work.
St Albans City and District Council has decided to allow residents from high-demand Controlled Parking Zones to use nearby car parks for free as an overflow.
They must have a valid resident’s permit on display and keep to the marked bays.
Residents who qualify for the scheme will be contacted directly by the Council.
In another move, the Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers – formerly known as traffic wardens – are focusing on major routes such as City Centre streets.
They are also making it a priority to deal with dangerous, obstructive and anti-social parking such as blocking a driveway or parking on double-yellow lines near junctions.
CEOs will continue to keep an eye for parking infringements in the District’s hotspots where demand for spaces is intense.
To help residents who may have trouble parking overnight beside their home, the free parking period at Council car parks has been extended by two hours.
Charges apply from 8.30am to 5.30pm rather than the normal 7.30am to 6.30pm.
Residents are also allowed to buy an extra two books of visitor permits above the usual personal allowance.
All of these measures will remain in force until the end of the second lockdown which is scheduled to finish on Thursday 2 December.
The Council is continuing its policy of giving car park concessions to critical care workers such as NHS staff and COVID-19 volunteers as well as health and social care workers.
This measure was introduced at the start of the pandemic and has been maintained ever since.
Councillor Chris White, the Council’s Leader and Portfolio Holder for Climate, Environment and Transport, said: “We have been listening to what our residents have been telling us about their car parking needs during the lockdown.
“We’ve also taken on board guidance from the British Parking Association and, of course, the Government’s own lockdown regulations.
“The result is a package of measures that balances the need to ease extra pressure on residents’ parking spaces around the District with the need to ensure our streets remain free of badly parked cars that can cause a nuisance or a hazard.
“I believe these measures and priorities will benefit the whole community at this very difficult time and I’m particularly pleased that we are able to maintain the concessions afforded to key workers such as NHS staff.”