Coronavirus is having a significant impact on London’s transport network. Reduced public transport means that key workers are more likely to drive to their place of work or to visit people in the community.
In order to help them do their important work:
- NHS and social care workers, and all key workers, are now able to park for free in council-owned car parks and on-street parking bays.
- To do this, they can register for a ‘virtual permit’ giving them special dispensation for parking by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and titling their email KEY WORKER APPLICATION. They need to provide evidence of their key worker status and vehicle details, so they can be ‘whitelisted’ either for the entire borough or for a specific controlled parking area near their place of work.
Council leader Julian Bell said: “We are committed to supporting NHS staff, the emergency services, carers and community volunteers who are leading the fight against coronavirus in our borough. We are all incredibly proud of the work that they are doing and want to ensure that the last thing they need is anxiety caused by trying to find a safe place to park.
“Having already agreed a flexible approach to parking enforcement to help key workers across the capital, we are pleased to say that London’s NHS staff and social care workforce will be able to park their cars for free in council parking locations.
“All key workers in the borough using cars or other vehicles to get around can rest assured that borough parking teams are on their side and should not hesitate to inform us of their parking requirements at this time.”
Drivers who are not key workers
All parking facilities across Ealing remain open to those who are not key workers – but they should be used only for making essential journeys, in line with the advice offered by Public Health England.
The vast majority of Ealing residents are staying at home, leading to increased parking demand in residential areas during the day.
Maintaining safety and keeping traffic flowing remain important priorities, particularly around medical centres, hospitals and food suppliers.
Measures being taken include:
- Making parking dispensations available for designated vital members of staff around hospitals, clinics and emergency services control centres
- Concentrating parking enforcement to ensure loading facilities near food suppliers are kept clear, and that there are sufficient spaces to park for key workers
- Exploring options for over-spill parking sites near hospitals and medical centres.
Vulnerable users such as disabled badge holders should continue to use their badges as usual, PayByPhone or a pay-and-display bay where appropriate, and continue to adhere to the moving traffic restrictions that still apply as usual.
All controlled parking zones (CPZs) and moving violation restrictions will continue to be monitored by the council as normal in order to reduce congestion and maintain road safety.
Councillor Bell said: “To protect parking for key workers and keep London’s roads moving, the government has confirmed that some essential parking enforcement must continue and, therefore, council enforcement staff should be out on the streets where necessary, while practicing social distancing. Essential enforcement also includes ensuring that access for emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire appliances is maintained.
“We need co-operation from the public to achieve this and would ask that our enforcement officers are treated with respect while carrying out this difficult work.”
Keep an eye on the council’s online coronavirus centre for council service updates.