District: Harlow

Patrol and Enforcement Update

We have been regularly reviewing our levels of enforcement since the Government’s Covid-19 measures were first introduced in March 2020.

On 8 March 2021, all of our patrols returned to normal, however we suspended the enforcement of all single yellow lines restrictions to allow more flexibility for residents working from home. All other restrictions, including those within residential permit areas and car parks, were being enforced as usual.

In line with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and as restrictions ease and travel increases, from 17 May 2021, we will be patrolling and enforcing all parking and waiting restrictions, including single yellow lines.

In line with Government guidance, social distancing and other precautionary measures will always be practised by our officers. Where necessary, postal PCNs may need to be issued for us to operate as safely as possible.

It is important we carry out patrols to ensure roads are safe and clear for all users – particularly emergency services, deliveries, waste and recycling collection vehicles and outside schools. We ask motorists to be mindful of this and continue to park considerately, legally and safely to ensure the roads remain accessible and safe.

Key Worker Permit Update

Hand shown using NEPP's new website.

We have reviewed the NHS and Key Worker permit scheme that has been in place since March 2020.

In light of lock-down measures easing and with Government guidance encouraging employees to return to their workplaces where possible, we have made the decision to end the current permit scheme and replace it with a new scheme specifically for NHS Key Workers. This will align our scheme with the pre-existing Government permit, details of which can be found here.

All current permit holders have been contacted to provide further details on this decision and for how to apply for the new NHS specific scheme.

We would like to thank all Key Workers for their continued dedication to the national response to the pandemic and we are pleased that our temporary scheme has been so popular over what has been and continues to be, a difficult time.

Temporary parking restriction to improve forest parking

Hand shown using NEPP's new website.

A temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is being implemented by the North Essex Parking Partnership in High Beech in Epping Forest on 22 May to address on-street parking issues, deter non-essential travel to the Forest and support the Government’s current guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The new measures hope to improve visitor safety and prevent the obstruction of local roads by problematic parking, reinforce the byelaw of local verges and release police resources that were required to manage the situation.

The TRO, a Red Route marked with double red lines is a first for North Essex and will come into force on a number of roads around & within the Forest. Full details of the restriction can be viewed on the North Essex Parking Partnership’s website and on the county’s online TRO mapping system..

Red routes were first tried in London more than 10 years ago and have tougher, zero-tolerance approach to traffic violations. The red route is being introduced to stop drivers from parking dangerously on the road and verges, and prohibits stopping, loading or unloading, and boarding or alighting from a vehicle. This comes after a large number of drivers have been turned away after parking on the verges.

The new restriction will also support the City of London Corporation’s environmental and management plans for the area as well as resulting in reduced congestion; carbon dioxide emissions; noise and air pollution. Once the current non-essential travel restrictions are lifted, motorists visiting the area, will be able to make full use of the 52 free car parks throughout Epping Forest.

The temporary TRO period allows Essex County Council to monitor the scheme closely for 18 months. Before the end of this period, and if there is a need to amend the scheme, or make it permanent, a formal public consultation will take place, enabling members of the public to provide feedback on the proposals.

The restriction which will come in, in two weeks’ time, has been requested by a partnership of Essex County Council, Epping Forest District Council, Essex Police, and the City of London Corporation Epping Forest. North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) who manage on-street parking in the area, have actioned this temporary TRO on their behalf.

Councillor Robert Mitchell, Deputy Cabinet Member for Highways at Essex County Council and Chairman of the North Essex Parking Partnership, said: “We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, but it’s important that we do all we can to protect our local communities and the environment. This TRO will keep the roads clear and safe for all essential road users and discourage non-essential travel under the Government’s current guidelines.

“It’s testament to our flexible team that we’ve been able to respond so quickly to our partner’s requests during this challenging period and we are confident that this temporary restriction will alleviate the dangerous and unnecessary parking issues in the area.”

Cllr Nigel Bedford Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Epping Forest District Council, said: “These steps to protect public safety are being supported by a range of partners including Epping Forest District Council, Essex County Council and Essex Police. I know these restrictions will not be popular with everyone but the vast majority of residents understand how careful we have to be at this critical time in the management of the Coronavirus Pandemic. With warmer weather and bank holidays providing the temptation to go out more, it is especially important that we do not risk the hard-won progress we have achieved in the fight against the virus.”

The signs and red lining for the route are being installed and are due to be completed next week.