A specialist software development company, which provides services to a quarter of local and regional government traffic authorities in the UK, is working with local authorities to provide free parking for NHS and critical care workers in council-owned car parks and on-street parking spaces.
Chippenham-based Chipside says that with some key workers working longer hours, and no longer having access to a full range of travel choices, such as public transport, they may be struggling to find and pay for parking near work or at a vulnerable person or patient’s home.
Chipside, which won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise last year, has worked with several local authorities to develop free emergency digital parking permits for NHS staff and social care workers on its MiPermit platform. The permits can be processed in 24 hours and remove the need for frontline workers to display documentation on their dashboard. The first council to roll this out was the North Essex Parking Partnership, where digital permits were made available just eight hours after Chipside received the request. The digital permits have also gone live in Swindon, Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire,.
The company emphasises that it is still essential that parking rules continue to be enforced for blue badge bays, double yellow lines and loading bays to ensure the public are kept safe and that roads remain clear for emergency and essential services.
With many people in the UK now working from home, it is likely that parking demand may currently outstrip supply in residential areas if residents are staying at home and key workers are permitted to park in these areas. This additional pressure will need to be managed carefully to prevent obstructive parking, which may block the delivery of essential supplies and services, such as online grocery deliveries and waste collection.