Renew parking permit - 2015
Parking is a high-volume service in urban areas. Renewing parking permits is one of the most important tasks provided by parking services.
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.
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.
Primary route for this task
We assessed this task primarily via the home page.
- 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- Question Q63 must be 'No' (content must not be out of date)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
How effectively is this council promoting this as a task?
Overall, how do you rate the journey plus task completion?
- Very good
- No information
NB Question highlighted in green is an ‘essential question’ that must be answered correctly for the council to meet the standard for this task
|Percentage answered correctly|
|Questions to be answered 'Yes'|
|Q51 Does the home page lead me directly to the task?||84%|
|Q52 Is the process for renewing the permit fully explained?||35%|
|Q53 Can I renew my permit online?||58%|
|Q54 Can I see how much the permit costs?||52%|
|Q55 Am I told how I will receive my new permit?||19%|
|Q56 Am I told when I will receive my new permit?||29%|
|Q57 Can I also apply for a visitor's parking permit?||58%|
|Q58 Can I find out the boundaries of my parking zone?||49%|
|Q59 Does a Google search lead me to the task?||91%|
|Q60 Does the service landing page provide a prominent link that takes me directly to this task?||83%|
|Q61 Does a site search for the task return the correct result listed in the first five results?||93%|
|Q62 Is there an entry in the A to Z index?||75%|
|Out of date information, answered 'No'|
|Q63 Did you come across any out-of-date information about this task?||94%|
|How effectively is this council promoting this as a task?||Average score (0-3)|
|Q64 How effectively is this council promoting this as a task?||2.2|
|Overall, how do you rate the journey plus task completion?||Average score (0-3)|
|Q65 Overall, how do you rate the journey plus task completion?||1.6|
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.
- 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.
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
Lots of detailed information and easy to find through all routes. I am very impressed that I can even print off my own permit.
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.
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!