Category: Projects

New electric vehicle fleet for north Essex

From June 2022, the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) have five new electric vehicles (EV) in fulltime operation to help administer parking rules in north Essex.  

The five new vehicles – NEPP’s first step towards a full EV fleet – were purchased as part of the Partnership’s commitment to tackling climate change. To facilitate this, NEPP has invested in an electric vehicle fleet charging infrastructure to support the commitment to a fully electric fleet by 2030.  

Three of the new additions will be used by the Partnership as technical support vehicles whilst the remaining two will be used as Park Safe cars, which help to make our streets safer for all by improving road safety at schools across north Essex.  

EV batteries are estimated to have greenhouse gas emissions around 66% lower than a petrol car and 60% lower than a diesel car.  

Cllr Sue Lissimore, North Essex Parking Partnership Chair, said: “I am not surprised NEPP is leading by example by investing in EVs which have zero tailpipe emissions. As a founding member of the British Parking Association’s Positive Parking Agenda, which core values include improving air quality, I am pleased that our goal of a fully electric fleet is underway. Now that we have invested in our own facilities to charge EVs, NEPP will become an eco-friendlier organisation where possible.”  

Cllr Sue Lissimore, continued: “I would like to thank NEPP for their ongoing work dedicating to not only keeping our streets safer, but to taking proactive steps to help Essex’s climate.”  

North Essex Parking Partnership launches new website 

Motorists in and visiting North Essex can take advantage of a new user-friendly website launched by the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP), highlighting information and support about parking across the area. 

A key feature of the new website is the improved site navigation and usability. This is due to the addition of a search bar function as well as a clearer, user-friendly layout.  

The news and service updates will now have individual pages per article, making it easier to find important information. There will also be a new look for the operational and annual reports, which will be hosted on the website to improve usability and accessibility. The NEPP supports the provision of parking and carries out the enforcement of parking restrictions across Braintree, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow, Tendring and Uttlesford. 

Its new website, gives people information 24/7, 365 days a year on the work the NEPP do to deliver parking services across the area and how to sign up to the cashless parking scheme MiPermit. 

It details the steps customers should take if they wish to appeal a penalty charge notice (PCN) they have received. Users will continue to be able to pay PCN’s they have received, through a secure area on the site. 

Cllr Sue Lissimore, North Essex Parking Partnership Chair, said: “We know parking is a subject high on many people’s list of issues. We have designed this website to try and make it as easy as possible to use for those living in or visiting North Essex to get the information they need about parking. 

“I believe it is important to take advantage of technology to make things as user-friendly and simple for people to find what they need.” 

School parking camera trial launched

Hand shown using NEPP's new website.

The North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) is today launching a pilot scheme, using school parking cameras at two locations in North Essex. The scheme, known as Park Safe Schools, is believed to be amongst one of the first of its kind in the country and aims to use technology to improve road safety at the school gates and tackle dangerous and illegal parking outside schools.

The Park Safe Schools scheme is designed to provide additional support to NEPP’s existing 3PR initiative which aims to improve congestion and tackle inconsiderate school parking through education and engagement. It will also support and complement NEPP’s existing patrols.

This new scheme uses a temporary fixed parking enforcement camera outside a school. The camera will only focus on, and monitor motorists’ behaviour on the no stopping restrictions outside a school, such as zig-zags, and if needed, postal Penalty Charge Notices will be issued to those seen contravening the restrictions. Signage and road markings will confirm what the parking/waiting restrictions are in each location and also remind motorists that camera enforcement is in place.

With 300+ schools in North Essex, this pilot scheme has many benefits, including the ability for NEPP to remotely monitor the parking behaviour in these specific areas much more closely at peak times and for longer periods. NEPP will also gain a better insight into the issues at each location and can then work with the local schools and communities to improve road safety and motorists’ behaviour.

The two pilots will take place at Stanway Fiveways Primary School in Colchester and Chase Lane Primary School in Dovercourt. Both schools have already been working closely with the NEPP to tackle parking issues and have 3PR schemes in place.

Due to their close proximity, the pilot scheme in Winstree Road, Stanway will also cover restrictions at two other schools, the Stanway School and Lexden Springs. With the three schools so close to one another, there is a significant increase in traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times causing road safety, congestion, parking and air quality issues. This pilot scheme should help address overall problems in the area. In addition, it will also support another project in this area between Essex County Council and Sustrans, all looking to improve these issues of congestion.

At Chase Lane Primary School in Dovercourt, the nature and positioning of the school’s entrance and exit causes problematic and dangerous parking, which this new scheme should help improve further.

NEPP will continue to work with the pilot schools and local communities throughout the pilot to ensure its effectiveness. Both pilots will run for a minimum period of one school term, when the situation will be reviewed.

To avoid the possibility of moving parking issues to another location, NEPP will continuously monitor any risk of dispersing the problem along with the schools and take any action necessary.

For further information about the scheme, including Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the NEPP’s dedicated webpage at:

Councillor Robert Mitchell, Chairman of the North Essex Parking Partnership, said: “School parking is one of the issues we get contacted about most and I’m delighted that North Essex is one of the first areas in England to trial this technology as part of our efforts to address dangerous and inconsiderate parking outside schools.

“As well as addressing parking concerns and supporting our current work with schools, this scheme should help reduce congestion and improve air quality in these busy locations, while also supporting Police and Essex County Council road safety campaigns.

“We will, of course, be monitoring this pilot very carefully before deciding whether, or not, these cameras might become permanent features. This trial period should also provide useful information in the validity of such schemes around other NEPP area schools.”

As this is a new, innovative scheme, NEPP has been working very closely with the local schools, community and councillors since the scheme was agreed in January 2020 at the NEPP’s Joint Parking Committee meeting. The NEPP has also provided schools with resources to ensure local residents; school children; parents/carers and staff are aware of the scheme.

Councillor Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “This is a really exciting new way of using technology to improve road safety, parking issues and air quality, and supports our new Positive Parking Strategy and commitment to tackling climate change.

“The way NEPP has worked with the school and local community ahead of this pilot launching is fantastic, and I look forward to following its progress over the coming months.”

Councillor Michael Talbot, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Any measure which improves safety for children attending school has to be a good thing to try, and this is a welcome addition to the already great work the 3PR scheme does.

“I cannot wait to see the results of this pilot and hope it achieves its objectives as children return to school.”

Julie O’Mara, Headteacher of Chase Lane Primary School, said: “I am looking forward to working with the school community and North Essex Parking Partnership to improve the safety of our pupils and their families. The progress we have already achieved with 3PR and Park Safe Schools, to raise awareness of considerate parking has been great. The Park Safe Schools Camera will really help to improve road safety and parking around our school.”

Primary schools without 3PR are unable to apply for or request Park Safe Schools, however any schools that are interested in the 3PR scheme to address parking problems, should complete the contact form on the 3PR website.

A short video explaining how the scheme operates can be found on the NEPP’s YouTube channel, Anna Tendant, here.

British Parking Awards Finalists

Hand shown using NEPP's new website.

The North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) has been shortlisted as a finalist for three awards in the national British Parking Awards 2021 recognising organisations that have made a significant contribution to improving parking.

Having won the Communications award and been finalists in another two categories last year, the Partnership is keen to continue its success and has been shortlisted in the Communications Award, Positive Responses to the Pandemic Award and Parking as a Service Award categories this year.

The ‘Communications Award’ category recognises imaginative, engaging and informative approaches adopted by parking organisations to communicating with the public and other organisations. NEPP has been shortlisted for its messaging throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, helping to keep customers as up to date as possible. This includes a dedicated coronavirus webpage to keep residents informed, three videos including showing the benefits of using contactless MiPermit payments and work on social media highlighting the Positive Parking Agenda (PPA) and Selfish Parker campaigns.

The Positive responses to the pandemic award’ will be awarded to recognise and honour the exceptional work that parking teams have done to support the NHS, local authority clients and communities across the UK manage, mitigate and fight the coronavirus pandemic. Along with the dedicated coronavirus webpage, NEPP extended support to NHS staff members by offering a free parking permit. Single yellow line restrictions were eased to allow for increased homeworking and less commuters during the lockdown stages of the pandemic. Residents were also offered a three-month extension to their residents parking permits.

The Parking as a service award’ is presented for creating a positive experience for motorists, recognising work done to create easy-to-understand, non-confrontational and person-centric services. NEPP have created a positive experience for motorists by supporting the Positive Parking Agenda which focuses changing perceptions and misconceptions towards parking, as well as the Don’t be a Selfish Parker campaign. In addition, recognition is given to the 3PR and Park Safe Schools projects which aim to tackle dangerous and illegal parking around schools.

Cllr Sue Lissimore, North Essex Parking Partnership Chair, said: “I’m incredibly pleased that NEPP has been shortlisted once again in multiple categories for the prestigious national British Parking Awards. NEPP continues to receive recognition across the parking sector for its innovation, communications, customer service and project work with partner authorities and I look forward to the results next month.”

Originally launched in 2002, The British Parking Awards seeks to recognise and celebrate best practice, innovation and achievement in the design and management of both public and private sector parking.

The 2021 winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 24 September at Royal Lancaster, London.

Children Safer from Parking Pilot Success

Hand shown using NEPP's new website.

Road safety outside schools has dramatically improved as a result of the Park Safe Schools pilot scheme, which saw fixed parking enforcement cameras installed by the gates of four schools. Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) issued fell by 62% in the areas fixed cameras were installed, meaning less dangerous and illegal parking outside schools.

The Park Safe Schools Pilot aims to tackle dangerous and illegal parking outside schools. It is funded by the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) and is thought to be amongst the first of its kind in the country.

It uses cameras to monitor how motorists behave on the no stopping zones outside schools. The scheme works to support Civil Enforcement Officer foot patrols and Park Safe Car initiative where a camera was installed to a vehicle so it can patrol and monitor restrictions at multiple schools.

The pilot has been running at Stanway Fiveways Primary School in Colchester, and Chase Lane Primary School in Dovercourt. It also includes Winstree Road in Stanway which covers Stanway School and Lexden Springs Schools.

School drop off and pick up times in Stanway cause significant congestion and parking because there are three schools close together and Chase Lane has experienced issues in the past with dangerous parking due to the position of their entrance and exit, which the pilot has sought to rectify.

Data collected shows that PCN’s issued have decreased by 62% in the areas the fixed cameras were installed, between April-July 2021. This shows less dangerous and illegal parking has occurred since the introduction of the cameras, making it easier for pedestrians and motorists to see, and therefore safer.

The Park Safe Schools pilot works alongside the 3PR initiative which provides schools with resources to educate parents and students.

Cllr Sue Lissimore, NEPP Chair, said: “It’s fantastic to see that a NEPP funded project has been so successful and improved road safety outside schools in a positive way. It’s important that projects to improve safety and help communities are at the forefront of our efforts. I’m excited to see how technology is being used to improve safety and I look forward to seeing the scheme grow in the future.”

Julie O’Mara, Headteacher of Chase Lane Primary Schoolsaid: “We’re really grateful for the work NEPP have done with the Park Safe Schools and 3PR schemes. Since the camera has been installed, we’ve noticed far less drivers obstructing pavements outside the school.”

Due to its success in improving road safety, the pilot will continue with the aim to expand to more schools in Essex.