Worthing’s parking shop to close and residential paper permits to be scrapped

Councillors have given the go ahead to plans to close Worthing’s Parking Shop and do away with paper residential parking permits.

Worthing Parking Shop in Chapel Road

The plans were approved at Adur and Worthing Councils’ joint strategic committee (JSC) meeting on Tuesday (November 9).

Residents living in controlled parking zones (CPZs) would usually head to the NSL Parking Shop in Chapel Road for a permit to park outside their home, but this could change from April, 2022.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Instead, those living in one of Worthing’s 14 CPZs will apply online via the council website.

There are no CPZs in the Adur District so residents will not be affected.

The plan follows the successful introduction of virtual permits in Chichester, say the councils, but committee members were keen that residents who are ‘not digitally enabled’ were not left behind.

Edward Crouch (Con, Marine) said: “I’m really keen that, as we move into a paperless sort of permit world, really careful consideration is given to migrating those non-digital folk on to those digital platforms. 

“I’m sure officers would do that anyway, but if we can just make sure that we don’t end up with ‘angry of Worthing’ who’s standing outside the Parking Shop looking to do their parking permit when it’s closed.”

The changes have come about as Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils seek to renew parking enforcement contracts with both West Sussex County Council and external provider NSL Services Group. Both contracts are due to end by the beginning of April, 2022.

During the JSC meeting, members also gave approval to renewing the contracts.

Under the current arrangement, responsibility for car-parking policy and enforcement differs depending on whether it is ‘on-street’ or ‘off street’.

As the highways authority, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is responsible for ‘on-street’ parking which includes setting parking tariffs; managing controlled parking zones (CPZs); and restrictions such as single and double yellow lines. Enforcement is managed on behalf of WSCC by ADC and WBC.

Off street parking – such as at council land and multi-storey car parks – is the responsibility of ADC and WBC. This is currently contracted out to NSL Services Group.

Mr Crouch, who is the executive member for digital and environmental services, said the contract with WSCC allowed ADC and WBC to ‘have local influence’ over parking.

He also praised the parking team, saying: “I must say, when I’ve had reasons to contact the parking team on behalf of residents, they’ve been really helpful in terms of being able to direct patrols and assist residents.”

During the meeting, councillors Brian Boggis (Con, Peverel) and Lee Cowen (Lab, Mash Barn) called for parking enforcement powers to be enhanced in Adur, especially in light of development in Shoreham, something which Mr Cowen said could ‘put pressure on parking’.

In response, Dan Humphreys (Con, Offington) said that council powers over parking were ‘limited’ but that the Local Government Association (LGA) would ‘continue to push the government’ to give councils further powers.

Council officers added that parking contracts could be renegotiated in future to address any possible need for enforcement increases or changes.