With increasing amounts of vehicles now on our roads, local authorities are under increasing pressure to investigate and introduce measures to better manage how motorists use the highway network.
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).
Details of all the current and legally enforceable parking restrictions for Northamptonshire can be found on the following webpage:
I have a parking problem, what can be done?
The issue of parking often brings up differing opinions from local communities on the correct way to deal with problems (e.g. residents parking schemes), and 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
The County Council currently reviews requests on an annual basis as part of a series of reviews in each of the seven districts and boroughs 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
- 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.
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 the Spring / Summer ready to advertise proposals in the Autumn / 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:
- Read through guidance notes which explain some of the general principles of how parking restrictions are assessed:
- 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
firstname.lastname@example.org as part the application.
- Gather support from your County Councillor and, where appropriate, Parish or Town Council, as their support is often key in proposals being considered.
- Complete an application word , including any additional information that might be relevant (photos, petitions, statement, etc.)
Note: supporting evidence should be emailed to