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What is a "Full" and what is a "Light Touch" Parking Scheme?

The difference is simply the operating hours:

  • Full Scheme
     operates across all bays (permit, shared use and pay and display) from 9am to 8pm Monday to Sunday.

  • Light Touch Scheme operates across all bays (permit, shared use and pay and display) with two short blocks of controlled hours, say from 11am to midday and 6pm to 7pm Monday to Friday. In this consultation we were also offered the possibility of a 7 day light touch scheme.

A Light Touch Scheme would have the following effects...

  • It would stop commuter parking 

  • Residents using a garage, therefore eligible for a residents permit, could still park on the street for a lot of the day and at weekends.

  • The light touch scheme is £30 a year cheaper for a standard twelve month permit.

  • Visitors could park for free most of the day and at weekends.

  • But ... there could still be out of area parking in uncontrolled hours.


A Full Scheme would have the following effects...

  • It would stop commuter parking

  • It would stop school-time parking.

  • It would stop weekend parking when there are events in Preston Park.

  • It would stop people parking who want to use Preston Park during the day.


You are allowed 50 visitor permits a year at a cost of £3.00 each.


The community has voted for a light touch scheme and the Council is now working to prepare a design for one.


Where the main source of parking issues is long stay parking (eg commercial vehicle / living/ camper van storage), or all-day commuter parking, then the “light touch” scheme does very well at reducing this parking demand because these vehicles have to be moved twice per day.  It frees up spaces for residents.


If a significant source is short to medium stay parking for specific purposes and events, eg school pickups or drop offs, parking for shopping in town with the final leg of a journey completed on foot, by bike or bus, visiting a sports club, Preston Manor or Preston Park, then a “light touch” scheme will work less well, because most non-residents are quite content to be able to park for free for the two or three hour blocks when the scheme does not apply. Residents are likely to find that, outside controlled hours, they still can’t park near their homes in some streets.  


However, a decision to go light touch has been taken and most importantly, the Council has supported a long standing recommendation by SAPC: the controls are to be applied to the whole Surrenden Area.  This is so large that it takes 20 minutes to walk from edge to edge. The decision should mean an end to the diversion of parking demand from one small parking zone to the nearest uncontrolled street, only three minutes walk away. This is a decision based on sound and strategic transport planning principles.

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