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Parking, Mobility & Transport Services

Annual Report 2014 - 2015


Without restrictions



With restrictions



Foreword


Parking, Mobility & Transport Services in Tower Hamlets is once again proud to publish the 2014/15 Annual Report in this booklet format.


We have tried to include as much useful information as possible, including statistics, our achievements and the wider role that our service plays in the borough for residents, visitors and all customers.


We are very proud of our achievements and successes throughout the financial year 2014 – 15. We hope that this Annual Report shows our commitment to providing a quality service to our customers and stakeholders and demonstrates that we value customer feedback and seek to improve our service.


In April 2015 our Vision and Mission was amended due to merging with Transport Services, and the new version has been included in this report. Our aim is still to be a flagship in service delivery by using the

newest technology, being customer-focussed, transparent, robust in enforcement and efficient in overall service provision.


We hope that you find the report informative and interesting.


Introduction


The need for parking controls in Tower Hamlets is evident. Parking, Mobility & Transport Services helps to maintain a safe and efficient traffic flow across the borough, ensuring safe and fair parking for all stakeholders whilst at the same time providing accessible transport facilities for those customers that need it.


The Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA) was implemented on 31 March 2008, allowing civil parking enforcement to be carried out by authorities across England and Wales.


The aim of the TMA is to provide a consistent set of regulations and procedures throughout England and Wales, while allowing parking policies to suit local circumstances. It also seeks to ensure that the system is fair to the motorist as well as effective in enforcing parking contraventions when they occur.


London authorities also have additional powers of enforcement that do not exist outside the capital. For example, only London authorities have legislation to cover enforcement of moving traffic contraventions and footway parking.


Guidance issued under the TMA states that enforcement authorities should publish an annual report six months after the end of the financial year.This is Tower Hamlets’ sixth annual report.


This document covers all parking enforcement activity from 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015 as well as additional information on our service as a whole.



Our Service: Vision & Mission


Our aim is to place the customer at the forefront of everything that we do whilst focusing on being transparent in overall service provision as well as operating efficiently and effectively to ensure value for money for the council, the residents of Tower Hamlets and the community that we serve.

Our Vision and Mission provides the goals for the service and gives a clear direction to staff and forms part of our service objectives.

Tower Hamlets Council is committed to the community and customers that it serves and this has been reflected in our Vision and Mission.


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Parking, Mobility & Transport Services


Vision & Mission

Performance Framework


Our vision is for Parking, Mobility & Transport Services to be a flagship in service delivery by using the newest technology, being customer-focussed, transparent, robust in enforcement and efficient in overall service provision.


To do this, our mission is to:



Parking, Mobility & Transport Services Commitment to Provide a Quality Service: Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) - We will consult with all relevant stakeholders regarding amendments to CPZs in their area. Disabled bays - We will aim to install all disabled bays within 6 months of request subject to meeting the Council’s criteria.

Abandoned Vehicle Service - An Offi will visit a reported vehicle to assess whether it can be removed as abandoned within 48 hours of being

reported. When a vehicle is confi as abandoned it will be removed within 48 hours of being legally permitted. This applies to Council highway and not estates.

Parking Permits - We will post permits and scratchcards within 5 working days of receiving an application that meets the necessary approval criteria. Mobility Support - We will process applications for discretional Freedom Passes, Taxicards and Blue Badges within 14 days of receipt.

Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) - We aim to respond to challenges and representations against PCNs within 21 days (our statutory requirement is 56 days).

Emergency Parking Enforcement - We aim to remove vehicles blocking driveways, using disabled parking bays without displaying a valid badge or causing serious danger or obstruction within 2 hours of being reported during our specifi times. This applies to Council highway and not estates.

Complaints - We will reply to you within 10 working days; however please note that there is a separate legal process for challenging a PCN.

We will aim to process suspensions, dispensations and skips within 2 working days. We require suspensions to be requested at least 7 working days in advance and dispensations at least 3 working days in advance. We will try to ensure that 5 working days’ notice is given of suspensions however, there may occasionally be emergency situations where this is not possible.

Journey length for transporting Adults & Children - We will aim that our journeys take one hour or less (subject to traffi conditions and number of passengers).

Journey times for transporting Adults & Children - We will aim to be punctual and that we meet our arrival and drop off times for each individual school and centre for 85% of journeys (subject to traffi conditions and number of passengers).

We review continuously and seek to improve our service and value customer feedback.


Parking

Parking controls in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets are essential to keep traffic moving and create and maintain safe access for residents, visitors, businesses and all customers.

Tower Hamlets is one of the smallest boroughs in London but is also the second-most densely populated.This, together with the borough’s proximity to central London and the busy arterial traffic routes that go through, result in ever-increasing traffic and demand on parking space. Parking, Mobility & Transport Services manages parking and traffic schemes and strives to balance the needs of all its stakeholders.

The net result of balancing the needs and expectations of all customers is that parking and traffic enforcement is now a significant activity for the council and consequently has great impact and immediate relevance to our residents, visitors and businesses.

A level of parking provision is important for the borough and for the convenience of residents and visitors alike. It must, however, be recognised that parking space and availability is directly linked to traffic volume, which is linked to traffic congestion, pollution and noise, as well as damaging health and climate change impacts. A careful balance must therefore be struck between parking provision, parking controls, levels of charges and enforcement.This is in order to ensure that we optimise the social, environmental and economic wellbeing for local citizens, as well as for sustainability and environmental issues.

Passenger Transport

Passenger transport arranges and delivers the home to school or centre transport for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and adults with care plans. We currently operate 43 daily routes with our own buses and manage approximately 40 regular routes operated by our external partners.

Passenger Transport Services also supports schools and colleges by providing transport to swimming baths, after-school clubs and trips to residential centres. We also provide transport to local voluntary and community- based groups and provide transport provision to holiday schemes throughout the year.

Passenger Transport Services operates a range of vehicles from 15 seat minibuses to 35 seat coaches.The majority of the fleet is fully accessible to wheelchair users.

All staff operating our services have appropriate training in dealing with children and adults with disabilities, wear uniform, carry photographic identification, and are routinely checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Passenger Transport Services also operates the collection service for underground refuse containers on many housing developments in the borough via specialised waste vehicles.

Mobility Support

Parking, Mobility & Transport Services in Tower Hamlets continues to provide a range of concessionary travel and parking schemes to give residents with disabilities greater opportunities for independent travel.

The service processes Disabled Freedom Passes,Taxicards and Blue Badges as well as providing a comprehensive mobility support service that offers advice and assistance to Tower Hamlets residents in relation to Blue Badges; Freedom Passes;Taxi Cards and personalised Disabled Bays.

The Service continues to spend £8.5m annually to provide Freedom Passes, Disabled Bays,Taxicards and Blue Badges for the most vulnerable.


What concessionary travel and parking schemes do we offer?

The Disabled Person’s Freedom Pass is a travel permit for residents with disabilities. It is paid for by Tower Hamlets Council and allows free travel on London Underground, buses, DLR,Trams and National Rail within Greater London.

The Taxicard scheme offers reduced fares in black cabs for people who have a long term or permanent illness or disability, which prevents them from using or significantly limits their use of public transport.

The cabs in the scheme carry ramps and are accessible to wheelchair user. Please note that the scheme is not available to people who suffer temporary disabilities, for example a broken leg.

The Taxicard may be used for any type of journey, for example shopping, visiting friends, GP appointments, but should not be used for hospital appointments, for which the health authority should provide transport.

A personalised disabled bay is a disabled parking bay provided near resident’s homes and residents with severe disabilities may be eligible to apply for one. Permits will generally only be issued to disabled drivers and are vehicle and bay specific. (No other permit or blue badge is valid for use within the allocated bay except the

bay-specific permit.) There are no charges for a personalised disabled bay.

Delivering the Passenger Transport Service throughout 2014-15

Throughout 1st April 2014 – 31 March 2015, we continued to deliver home to school or centre transport for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or adults with care plans.

Tower Hamlets being so densely populated combined with the borough’s proximity to central London and the busy arterial traffic routes that go through has resulted in ever-increasing traffic which places huge challenges on this service on a daily basis.

The team has worked hard to deliver this service, balancing the needs of all its service users and stakeholders in delivering a quality service.

Our aim is to provide a high quality, accessible transport service to some of the most vulnerable people in the borough on behalf of Children’s Services and Adults’ Services Directorates.

We ensure that our staff were kept up to date with periodic training and are committed to delivering our service to the best standard as possible. All of our police-checked drivers and passenger assistants have been trained to greet passengers politely and ensure that they travel in comfort and safety.

Service standards


Please note that using the council’s complaint procedure or contacting a councillor does not replace any formal appeals procedures.


You can make a complaint, comment or compliment by visiting the link below. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/council_and_democracy/complaints.aspx

Staff in One Stop Shops can help you set down your views in writing. Alternatively, you can contact the Complaints Team on 020 7364 4161.


Providing Free Products for the Community

Parking & Mobility Services continues to offer a number of free products to assist residents and visitors to the Borough. Many residents are unaware that we offer a number of free products and these are demonstrated in the table below.


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Weekend free parking

In market areas parking is free in pay and display bays in order to encourage shoppers and boost local businesses.


Vehicle surrenders

If a resident has a vehicle that they want to get rid of then they can contact us and we’ll remove it free of charge. Please make sure that you’ve removed your belongings before we take the vehicle away.


Funeral waivers

We realise that funerals are a difficult time for all involved and to help make things easier we offer funeral waivers to allow free parking in certain bays for the whole day.


Free permits for residents who meet a certain criteria

Residents in receipt of the DLA higher rate mobility component or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) enhanced rate qualify for a 6 or 12 month free permit.


Free scratchcards for the disabled

Residents who are eligible qualify for a maximum of 48 books of visitor scratchcards in a rolling 12 months to park in the mini-zone they live.


Free scratchcards for residents who have a daily carer

Residents aged 60+ are also entitled to free visitors scratchcards across the Borough.


Free scratchcards for the over 60’s

Residents aged 60 years and over are also entitled to a maximum of 24 books of visitor scratchcards in a rolling 12 months to park in the mini-zone they live.


Parking Statistics

Number of bays in London Borough of Tower Hamlets


London Borough of Tower Hamlets Parking & Mobility Services:

Parking Spaces*

Number of bays

Description of bay:

Ambulance Bay

12

Business Permit Holders Only

400

Business Permit Holders and Pay & Display

201

Business Permit Holders and Resident Permit Holders

5202

Business Permit Holders, Resident Permit Holders and Market Traders

9

Business Permit Holders, Resident Permit Holders and Pay & Display

29

Taxi Ranks

12

Car Club Bay

132

Coach Bays

25

Disabled Badge Holders Only

113

Doctor Permit Holders Only

31

Goods Vehicles Loading Only

51

Loading Only

124

Market Traders Only

3

Pay & Display/Pay by Phone

938

Pay & Display and Market Traders

14

Personalised Disabled Permit Holders Only

299

Police Vehicles Only

37

Resident Permit Holders Only

12703

Resident Permit Holders and Market Traders

4

Resident Permit Holders and Pay & Display

4277

Resident Permit Holders, Market Traders and Pay & Display

29

Solo Motor Cycles Only

190

Off-Street

Disabled Badge Holders Only

14

Pay & Display/Pay by Phone

141

* Summary report correct as of 27th May 2015


Statistical Reporting

Parking & Mobility Services would like to share the following statistical data for the period 1st April 2014 - 31st March 2015.



Enforcement statistics for 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015 PCNs and Vehicle Removal

Higher differential level parking PCNs under the TMA 2004

120,672

Lower differential level parking PCNs under the TMA 2004

18,613

Total PCNs

139,285

Bus lane PCNs issued under the LLAA 1996

1,165

Moving Traffic PCNs issued under the LLA & TfL Act 2003

1,150

Total PCNs(Excluding Warning,Tests and Spoils)

141,600

Warning Notices

826

Total Vehicles removed to pound

2,697

*Higher and lower differential level parking is explained in the Traffic Management Act 2004



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Parking Permits


Permits

Number of Resident Permits Issued

32764

Number of Business Permits Issued

1222


Number of Resident & Business parking permits issued


PCNs Paid

Amount

On Street

Off Street

CEO

Parking

CCTV

Parking

Bus Lane

Moving Total Traffic CCTV

Total

Discount Paid

47,727

97

47,824

31,411

750

804

32,965

80,789

Full Penalty Paid

8,038

22

8,060

1,445

84

53

1,582

9,642

Surcharge Paid

3,420

5

3,425

2,996

47

67

3,110

6,535



PCNs paid by Payment Stage


Total number of Moving PCNs paid by Type


Parking PCNs paid by Enforcement Method


Pay & Display Income

Breakdown of Pay & Display income for 1st April 2014 - 31st March 2015


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Parking Pay & Display Charges £4,179,046


Off Street £29,971


Pay by Phone

Graph showing the number of transactions & revenue April 2014 - April 2015 *


Transactions & Revenue


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* Data from PayByPhone Monthly Report for Tower Hamlets - April 2015


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Challenges & Representations*



Informal Challenges

PCNs against which an Informal Challenge was made

16,572

PCNs cancelled as a result of an Informal Challenge

4374

% Cancelled

26%


Informal Challenges



Formal Representation

PCNs against which an Formal Challenge was made

31,595

PCNs cancelled as a result of an Formal Challenge

7373

% Cancelled

23%


Formal Representations


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* Figures relate to the number of challenges received in the financial year, irrespective of when the PCN was issued.


Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS)

ber of Appeals Allowed &

Refused

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(now called Environment and Traffic Adjudicators)


Appeals received by Appeal Service

2777

Total Decisions


2914

Allowed


1691

% Allowed/ Heard


58.03%

Refused


1223


of which Refused with Recommendation


51

% refused/ Heard


41.97%

Not Contested


596

% Not Contested/ Allowed


32.25%

% Not Contested/ Heard


20.45%

% Appeals Heard/PCNs Issued


2.06%


3500


3000

2914


2500


2000

1691


1500

1223


1000

596


500


0


Total Decisions Allowed

(Appeals Heard)

Refused Not Contested

(Did Not Contest)


Number of Appeals

Allowed & Refused


1223

Allowed


1691

Refused


Top 20 Locations for PCNs Issued & Income Received (On Street)


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Top 20 Locations for PCNs Issued & Income Received (CCTV)


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Top 20 Locations for PCNs Issued & Income Received

(Vehicle Driveways & Prevented from Serving i.e. PCN not served at the scene)


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Controlled Parking Account

The Council operates a separate Controlled Parking Account in accordance with s.55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended by the 1991 Road Traffic Act), the costs of which are incorporated within the income and expenditure for Highways, Roads and Transport Services.

This account records all income and expenditure attributable to on-street parking activities, including enforcement.The account may incur a deficit in the year in which case the deficit must be made good from the General Fund at the year end.The use of any surplus is prescribed by legislation and is restricted largely to reinvestment within the service and highways and transportation initiatives.


CONTROLLED PARKING ACCOUNT


The Council operates a separate Controlled Parking Account in accordance with s.55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended by the 1991 Road Traffic Act), the costs of which are incorporated within the income and expenditure for Highways, Roads and Transport Services



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2014/2015

£'000

2013/2014

£'000

Expenditure


Employee costs 4,336 4,318

Premises 162 153

Transport 180 180

Supplies and services 1,417 1,293

Third party payments 475 534

Support services 1,745 1,603

Capital financing 0 0

Increase in provision for bad debts 202 100

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Total Expenditure 8,517 8,181

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Income

Permits 4,116 4,046

Parking Pay & Display Charges 4,179 3,801 Off Street 30 23

Fees-Traffic Mgt Orders 118 42

Meter & Bay Suspensions 1,201 673

Removal Charges 520 489

Enforcement Agents 638 553

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Parking Penalty Charges 7,174 6,450 Decrease in provision for bad debts 0 0

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Total Income 17,975 16,077

9,458 7,896

(Surplus)/Loss for the year

This account records all income and expenditure attributable to on-street parking activities, including enforcement. The account may incur a deficit in the year in which case the deficit must be made good from the General Fund at the year end. The use of any surplus is prescribed by legislation and is restricted largely to reinvestment within the service and highways and transportation initiatives.



Balance at 1st April

912

1,755

Surplus for year

9,458

7,896

Contribution towards Concessionary Fares

-8,452

-8,739

Balance at 31st March

1,918

912