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Coronavirus Kent: Parking restrictions relaxed by councils during outbreak

Parking restrictions are being relaxed by councils across Kent to help amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Swale council said residents on Sheppey and in Sittingbourne and Faversham were able to park in residential permit zones, even if they do not have a permit, until July 1.

Swale council has announced changes to its parking policy in response to the coronavirus outbreak
Swale council has announced changes to its parking policy in response to the coronavirus outbreak

Going further, the authority now says people displaying permits can use off-street car parks, for free, at all times.

On-street residents parking bays and off-street car parks will also be free for NHS health and social care staff visiting residents, as long as they show their ID badge or official letter on their dashboard.

Anyone else using car parks still have to pay to leave vehicles there.

Single yellow line 30-minute wait restrictions, normally brought in to stop commuter parking, and school waiting restrictions have also been eased.

It is hoped the change will make life easier for those self-isolating or working from home.

"We would ask anyone who does have a permit that they continue to display it."

A Swale council spokesman said: "Other enforcement will continue to ensure that people are parking safely and traffic can flow, especially on narrow streets.

"Double-yellow line restrictions, disabled and loading bays and school keep-clear zones will also be enforced.

"We would ask anyone who does have a permit that they continue to display it.

"Anyone unsure which changes apply to them should call the council on 01795 417850."

It comes as new measures were brought in by local government minister, Robert Jenrick.

"I’ve agreed with councils in England to provide free car parking."

He said: "Our NHS staff and social care workers are working around the clock to save lives and should not have to worry about the cost or time restrictions of parking.

"Which is why I’ve agreed with councils in England to provide free car parking, on council owned on-street spaces and car parks."

Drivers were also urged to park responsibly.

And other councils like Dover have done the same by allowing free parking in Dover District Council car parks and on-street bays. Enforcement has also been suspended for these bays.

Charges at pay and display car parks in Sevenoaks have also been suspended until further notice in response to the outbreak.

In Medway, parking enforcement officers have been asked to focus on dangerous or inconsiderate parking.

Anyone receiving a penalty charge in circumstances where you had no choice because of difficulties due to coronavirus can appeal, if you outline the reasons.

Visitors' parking permits, which can usually be purchased in Medway's libraries, can be ordered by phone by calling 01634 332266 and they will be posted to you.

In Gravesend, parking is currently free in off-street car parks operated by the council.

Residents’ parking bays are also not being enforced.

Both measures are in place for at least the initial three weeks, in line with the lockdown measures outlined by the government on Monday.

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