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For some retailers parking in the vicinity of their store is essential to maintaining profitability. When Local Authorities change parking regulation footfall can decrease significantly and businesses can fail. With this in mind it is important that retailers remain mindful and vigilant to parking problems in around their stores. There are a range of potential problems that can arise from parking issues, for example; appealing against current restrictions, appealing new restrictions and creating new car parking spaces.

Case Study: Malcolm’s Costcutter, Coventry

Paul’s shop was on a parade in a residential area. Residents were complaining that people were parking on the road to use the shops. In response to this the Council proposed putting a higher curb in place on the road to prevent parking. Paul contacted his local council to discuss this issue. He collaborated with other business on the parade, his local councillor and the local MP.

All the businesses were willing to give up their forecourts to create parking spaces on the road. However, the council refused to accept the forecourt for parking spaces as they would be liable for any cars pulling out of the junction.

Even with the support of other businesses and local politicians Paul was unsuccessful in persuading the council. A higher curb has been put in place and double yellow lines.

Case Study: Mandeep Singh’s Premier, Sheffield

Mandeep’s store is in direct competition with two Tesco Express’ both of which have developed parking outside of their store to increase footfall. In order to compete Madeep needed to ensure parking outside his store was optimized by have a drop curb, allowing customers to park on his forecourt.

His first point of contact was the local council’s planning department to request the application form for a drop curb. In this application he built the picture of the competition he is facing and the value this drop curb would add to his business and the local community. With double yellow lines flanking his business this was the only way for the store to continue serving the community and reach its goals.

To support his application Mandeep also gained the support of his local MP, David Blunkett. Although the application is ongoing he is confident that he will be successful.


Who is responsible and first point of contact?

At local authority level there are two points of contact relevant to parking and road issues. For parking enforcement, i.e. penalty notices, you should contact the parking team. All other issues should be referred to the Traffic Management Team who deals with the implementation of new restrictions.

On most local authority websites you will be able to find contact details for them under the planning or transport department.

What is the procedure that authorities have to go through?

Behind every parking traffic restriction put in place by a local authority they must create a Traffic Regulation Order. A Traffic Regulations Order is a legal document which sets out reasons for the introduction of new traffic measures and legislation that justifies this. All Traffic Management Orders, for permanent measures, must be consulted on by the public.

Local authorities will contact all properties facing any potential new restrictions, usually via post. Any proposed new restrictions will also be advertised in local newspapers and on local authority websites. Anyone can provide input on the introduction of these measures. Local Authorities will need to gain a certain percentage of the local population to agree with the introduction of these measures. The type of restriction being proposed will determine the length of time it is advertised for consultation, double yellow lines are consulted on for three weeks (these time frames will vary by county).

With this procedure in mind it is advised that retailers take the following actions:

  • Be mindful of parking difficulties that will affect your store and monitor local press and local authority websites for any potential discrepancies.
  • If a traffic management order is raised that will affect your business you should try and gain the support of other business, the local community, local councillors and your local MP.
  • Contact your local authority to discover the time scales in place to determine the urgency of actions required.

Drop Curbs

To apply for a drop curb you will have to contact your local authority. The Traffic Management and Planning Department will deal with this issue.

Applications for drop curbs will only be given for access purposes. Your local authority will not allow drop curbs if they are too close to junctions or on an A road.