Trial will see £20k sensors to monitor cars in parking bays
- Credit: Archant
Sensors are to be placed in on-street pay and display parking bays in parts of Norfolk in a trial to establish how long vehicles are left in them.
Norfolk County Council is planning to pilot the use of the devices in parts of Great Yarmouth - but bosses insist the move is not to catch drivers who overstay the period they have paid for.
They say the £20,000 sensors will be used to monitor turnover of vehicles in specific parking bays, as well as the length of stay.
The sensors would be linked up to the county council's own monitoring network, which allows data to be quickly shared and checked.
The council says the findings could be used to help make decisions over future charges.
A county council spokesman said: "In the trial, sensors would not be used to capture vehicle or personal details, nor for enforcement purposes.
"The sensors will simply be used to detect motion and movements, and capture data on the dwell time and turnover of vehicles in a particular location.
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"This data will be used shape evidence-based policy and practical schemes.
"For example, data gathered could help inform us whether there is enough turnover of parking on a high street to allow customers regular, easy access to local businesses.
"Alternatively it could show that the spaces were being taken up for longer periods of time."
The trial will come at a time when pay and display on-street parking charges in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn, along with the cost of residents' parking permits, are due to go up.
Members of the Norfolk Parking Partnership Joint Committee - made up of councillors from County Hall and district councils - agreed increases in February.
Although councillors did not realise at the time, the council's constitution does not allow the committee to make such decisions.
Members could only make a recommendation to the county council's cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure - to use their powers to make the final decision.
That cabinet member - Martin Wilby - has now done that and the council says the fee increases will come in later this year.
What are the increases?
Band A city centre on-street charges will rise from £2.50 per hour (£1.50 for the first 30 minutes, followed by 50p per 15 minutes afterwards) to £3 per hour (£1.80 for the first 30 minutes, followed by 60p per 15 minutes afterwards).
Band B will rise from £1.70 per hour (£1.10p for the first 30 minutes and 30p for each 15 minutes after that) to £2 per hour (£1.30p for the first 30 minutes and 35p for each 15 minutes after that).
On-street pay and display parking currently costs £3 or £4.50 for up to four hours and £5 or £7.50 for four to 10 hours.
That will rise to £5 for up to four hours and £8 for four to 10 hours, at North Drive and South Beach, while for Marine Parade a new tariff and length of stay would be brought in - £3 an hour for up to two hours and £3.50 an hour for two hours up to a maximum of four hours.
New pay and display areas would be introduced in Nelson Road/Apsley Road and in Deneside.
Deneside would be free for 90 minutes, but £1.50 for up to two hours after that and £3.50 for a maximum three hours.
In Nelson Road/Apsley Road, charges and the length of the free period would vary depending on the season.
In King's Lynn only a small number of roads have on-street pay and display.
The free first hour will continue, but after that it will cost £3 (up to two hours), £3.50 (up to two-and-a-half hours) and the maximum charge of £4 (up to four hours).
Annual resident and visitor permits in Yarmouth and King's Lynn will increase from £40 to £50 a year.
In Norwich permits depend on the length of vehicles. The cost of a permit for a medium length vehicle will go up from £37.20 a year to £46.50 a year.