Request new parking restrictions

Parked cars can stop emergency vehicles accessing where they need to go, cause congestion or even obstruct. Using waiting and restriction rules is one way to keep roads safe, avoid congestion and reduce obstructions.

Parking restrictions include:

  • yellow lines
  • limited waiting bays
  • bus bays
  • taxi bays
  • loading bays
  • no loading areas
  • school 'keep clear' markings
  • residents parking bays
  • on-street pay and display bays

A sign usually accompanies the road marking to inform you of the restriction.

Double yellow lines mean no parking at any time, and no longer require signs to be enforceable (unless a seasonal restriction is being used).

Find details of all current and legally enforceable parking restrictions in the county on the Northamptonshire Traffic Orders website.

Parking problems - what can be done

The issue of parking often brings differing opinions from local communities on the correct way to deal with problems (such as resident parking schemes). There may not be a simple answer where demand outweighs available road space. 

However, where it is appropriate, waiting restrictions can be considered to control where and how people parking in an area.

The parking review process

We currently review requests on an annual basis as part of a series of reviews in each area around the county. This has proven to be the best use of resources because one change can cost the same as reviewing an entire area in legal and administration fees.

Our engineers assess each request, taking into account a number of factors, including:

  • road safety
  • accessibility
  • congestion
  • the possibility of displacing the problem to another street
  • how many people support the request

If a request meets the council's criteria and there is enough local support, then they may be included in a future consultation to make a change to the Traffic Regulation Orders for that area.

What happens next

When the formal legal process begins, a notice is placed in a local newspaper saying that we intend to introduce new parking controls and copies are made available to see at council buildings and local libraries.

In addition to this we put up notices on lamp columns and posts in affected roads, and usually write to residents and businesses fronting on to the proposed new controls.

There is then a period (usually 21 days) in which people can either object or support the proposals by commenting on them. All comments are then considered before making a decision on what should happen.

Once the process is complete we publish notices confirming the changes, and plans are put in place for the associated lines and signs to be installed.

The process can take up to 12 to 18 months to complete, with assessments starting in Spring and Summer ready to advertise proposals in Autumn and Winter each year.

Requesting a change to parking controls

If you would like parking restrictions to be reviewed or considered, we recommend completing the following steps:

1. Read the guidance

Read through guidance notes which explain some of the general principles of how parking restrictions are assessed

Parking restrictions exist for a number of different reasons including preventing accidents and improving traffic flows.

A balance has to be struck between keeping traffic moving and allowing people to carry out their activities.

Delivery vans, taxis, disabled drivers and local residents all want to stop as close as they can to their destinations, but this can sometimes cause congestion and inconvenience to other road users.

The road network is forever changing and sometimes there maybe a need to review whether existing parking restrictions are still appropriate for an area or where new restrictions maybe needed.

Northamptonshire Highways will use the information supplied on this form to assess whether the requested action is in the best interests of a community or if it helps meet out wider strategic objectives.

General principles

Any proposed amendments look at a number of factors which include:

  • location - class of road and industrial, residential, retail and school routes
  • parking density - demand for parking
  • highway impact - frequency and risk of obstruction to passing traffic
  • safety - where parked vehicles reduce visibility or cause a hazard
  • accidents - priority will be given to locations where recorded accidents are occurring due to the impact of parking
  • local needs - this includes businesses and residential parking demands

When considering requests for parking restriction changes the authority will not make changes that simply displace the problems somewhere else, where enforcement will be difficult and restrictions should be of benefit to all road users.

There are a number of locations where the use of parking restrictions would be considered inappropriate and other ways of tackling issues should be explored.

These include:

  • where parking obstructs a view from a property or noise associated with parking
  • parking obstructing access to a private property
  • minor roads situated within rural non-built up areas
  • turning areas in residential cul-de-sacs

2. Gather local support for your request

It is important that a high percentage of people affected by the request are also in full support of a proposal.

A petition can be submitted with a paper form, or emailed to [email protected] as part of the application.

Gather support from your Councillor and, where appropriate, Parish or Town Council, as their support is often key in proposals being considered.

3. Request and complete an application form

This includes any additional information that might be relevant (such as photos, petitions, statement).

To request an application form, email [email protected].

Last updated 31 January 2024