Ongoing funding cuts by central government together with unfunded pressures in social care, have significantly affected Hampshire County Council’s capacity to investigate and implement traffic management measures. We currently direct our remaining, limited resources to safety led schemes, and in particular casualty reduction measures where there is a history of injury accidents that can be reduced with specific interventions.
We deal with many parking related complaints and we are aware that these issues can be a cause of great frustration for residents. Parking issues are prioritised in the same way as all other traffic issues, with higher priority given to casualty reduction. Parking issues rarely give rise to injury accidents and so they generally will be a much lower priority than other traffic management matters. Reducing the numbers of people injured on our roads is our priority and we focus our resources where they will achieve the greatest road safety benefit.
There is often an expectation that providing yellow lines or other parking restrictions would be a quick/low cost measure, but this is not the case. The provision of any formal parking restrictions requires implementation of a legally enforceable Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), which is a relatively costly and lengthy process including formal consultations and advertisements. It is also a resource intensive process and the cost of the parking signs and road markings is usually minimal compared to the staff resources and legal costs involved.
The implementation of a TRO also depends on any objections received during the statutory consultation and advertising period. Parking restrictions can be contentious locally and there will often be comments and objections raised that may then result in the proposed measures being altered, or in some cases dropped altogether if there is no local consensus of opinion. In residential areas where parking space is at a premium, we are likely to receive objections to any measures that reduce or restrict parking space and it would not be appropriate to consider restrictions that would merely displace the problems elsewhere nearby.
For these reasons we cannot consider any parking related TRO’s for locations that do not have casualty history or proven recurring safety issues.
I appreciate this will not be the response you were hoping for, but I hope this clarifies the position.
Councillor Rob Humby
Executive Member for Environment and Transport