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Digital residents parking permit will have many benefits and will lower emissions

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Our cabinet has approved the introduction of a digitalised residents’ parking permits system which will make it easier for users to manage their permit, and aims to encourage the uptake of electric and lower emission vehicles.

The new system was approved at our Cabinet on Monday (September 26) and follows a consultation we held last summer which drew 769 responses.

We intend to phase the new system in from the New Year – we will ask current permit holders to renew using the new system only once their current permit expires.

If you are a resident living in area with a residents’ parking schemes, such as Exeter, you are asked to display a physical parking permit in your vehicle.

This means you have to wait until the the post arrives before it can be used.

But this new system will mean you can use it within 24 hours of application and if you buy a new car, for example, you will also be able to change your vehicle details at a click of a mouse.

Another improvement is in the use of visitor time. Currently visitor permits are issued by day –the new system will allow permits to be issued by the hour.

This will allow a visitor staying a short time to use the correct number of hourly permits adding up to their length of stay. This means that that a whole day’s permit will no longer be ‘wasted’ for short visit, which will save you tickets.

Refunds will also be available to digital permit holders for unused full calendar months and unused visitor permit hours if, for example, you move address and no longer need it.

And for those of you concerned about permit fraud and misuse, the digital system will require any new or first application to upload supporting documents.

Its also designed to support our work to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.

So, while all residents will pay the same tariff for their first vehicle, to discourage multiple car ownership and encourage the uptake of EV and lower emission vehicles, a differential charge, linked to emissions, will be introduced for each subsequent vehicle.

And for those of you who may find it difficult to manage a digital permit account for Visitor Permits, the option to have books of scratch cards will be retained.

Any unused existing visitor permits still held will continue to be valid until used by the household.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management said:

“We had an excellent level of response during the consultation and one concern which came up again and again related to charges for Essential Visitor Permits.
“We have listened to those comments and that’s why the cost will be capped at £10.
“This will provide a contribution to the administration, processing, and printing of the permits.
“This new system improves enforcement, continues to ensure that the service is self-funding, makes the system more flexible for users and will help to combat congestion, reduce emissions and improve air quality by discouraging multiple car ownership and encourage the uptake of EV and lower emission vehicles.”