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Renew parking permit - 2015

Why important

Parking is a high-volume service in urban areas. Renewing parking permits is one of the most important tasks provided by parking services.

Date of assessment

Coverage

All London boroughs and metropolitan districts (69 councils in all). Note: this service is also provided by single-tier councils, but not tested in this survey in the interests of maintaining survey balance.

Overview

The councils that we tested handled this task reasonably well (38% achieving our standard). Another 29% of sites failed specifically because they did not offer an online renewal (designated by our survey as an essential question). There were also other issues, such as the difficulty of finding information about costs and essential information about the permit.

Find your council report

Check ‘coverage’ to see if your council has been surveyed. Go to councils page and select your council. Look for link to task report under 2017-18 results

Headline results

38%

Achieved standard

The standard
  • At least 8 questions from 13 answered 'Yes'
  • Question Q53 must be answered 'Yes'
  • Question Q63 must be 'No' (content must not be out of date)
  • Promotion of task rated satisfactory or very good
  • Customer journey rated satisfactory or very good

Questions

Log in to view question set or View sample question set from 2016-17 (pdf)

Task report

Good practice

Finding the task

  • Find the task by navigating from the home page to parking, or to transport and streets.
  • Search for the task by entering ‘council name’ residents parking permit into Google (or other search engine).
  • In an A to Z index provide an entry under ‘Parking permits’ or ‘Resident parking permits’.
  • If a high-volume task in a council area, list as a specific task on the home page.

Completing the task

  • Separate the tasks of applying and renewing permits.
  • If possible, enable people to renew online and consider the use of e-permits, which allow residents to print permits off themselves.
  • Although e-permits are quick and convenient, make sure to explain how they work.
  • If this is a high-volume task, consider having permit accounts for residents.
  • Explain all the steps from beginning to end so that people know what to expect.
  • Be clear what information people will need before filling out the form, e.g. PIN or permit number.
  • Consider making the whole task completely digital so that the resident no longer needs to rely on getting an initial letter.
  • Be very clear about timescales, e.g. how long before my permit expires do I need to renew?
  • Clearly list the costs of renewing a permit.
  • Make it clear how long the permit lasts for.
  • Make it clear that the renewal process can handle a change of address and / or a change of vehicle.
  • Spell out the proof that is needed to renew a permit. If renewed online, make it clear how the resident should provide the proof, e.g. uploading scanned documents or photos.
  • Give a clear description of a visitor’s permits book and explain how long they allow one to park.
  • Enable residents to apply and pay for visitors’ permits online.
  • Provide clear, easy-to-read maps showing controlled parking zones (CPZs).
  • Provide a street look-up for residents to put in their street name to see which streets are in a CPZ.
  • Explain the rules and operational hours of CPZs.
  • Provide contact details for residents who have further queries.

Poor practice

  • There are too many clicks from the home page to parking permits.
  • The site does not distinguish clearly between the tasks of applying and renewing.
  • Putting the costs of parking permits in a ‘pdf’ with lots of other prices makes the information hard to find.
  • The explanation of the steps involved in renewing a permit is unclear.
  • The explanation of how the resident receives the permit is unclear.
  • The CPZ maps are unreadable.

Reviewer's tip

The task of renewing and the task of applying for the first time were not adequately separated in many cases.

Online renewals were usually possible, but it wasn’t always clear whether this included the payment and, if so, how I could pay. There was often mention of a letter that I should have received, which would provide information about whether or not I could renew online.

Information about the cost of the permit was often hard to find, often in a lengthy ‘pdf’ that included a load of different parking costs, e.g. fines, car parking charges, etc.

Descriptions of visitor parking permits were sometimes poor. It wasn’t clear how many permits were in a book or how much time each visitor permit would provide.

It sometimes wasn’t clear whether or not I could order and buy a book of permits online.

Sites that we recommend

Haringey

Lots of detailed information and easy to find through all routes. I am very impressed that I can even print off my own permit.

Waltham Forest

Good promotion of this task and really good, clear information provided about the virtual parking permit scheme for residents. It’s really useful that the various charges for different car classes are displayed on the actual web page rather than in a ‘pdf’. There is clear guidance about the proof you need to provide and good information about how to access the online renewals system. The one thing it was not that clear about was how long the process would take, but it did say that I would be notified by email after completing the online process. I would definitely use the online method if I lived in Waltham Forest.

Wandsworth

Very strong. I am impressed that I can also put in my street name to find more details about my controlled parking zone. The only detail missing is how long my permit will take to process, but other than that it is a full house! 

Further information

We assessed this task primarily via the home page.

 

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