Council hopes to crack down on fly-parking as new group is launched

Council chamber at Uttlesford District Council. Photo: UDC

Council chamber at Uttlesford District Council. Photo: UDC - Credit: Archant

A group dedicated to tackling ‘fly-parking’ by people who don’t want to pay to park at Stansted Airport has been set up by Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

The task and finish group, made up of three councillors, intend to investigate the problem and then report back with recommendations to the authority's scrutiny committee.

Fly-parking is when drivers park on the kerbside, in laybys or grass verges sometimes for a long period of time. Although legal, unless a traffic regulation order has been put in place, it can lead to driveways and footpaths being obstructed.

Councillor Melvin Caton, who will co-ordinate the group, after he brought up the issue at September's scrutiny meeting, said: "It was a key issue people raised on the doorstep at the local elections last year. People were quite vociferous about the issue and the fact that even if they did report the parking issue, nothing appeared to happen. "Ideally there could be some sort of support for yellow lines on local roads and residents' parking schemes from the airport. I just think both the local authority and organisations could do better."

Parking restrictions on the highway are the responsibility of Essex County Council, with delegation to the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) in Uttlesford.

In some cases, residents set up a parking scheme, where they pay for a parking permit on local roads, Cllr Caton explained.

A hotline which people can call to report fly-parking has received more than 100 calls a year "recently", which shows the main areas of concern include Takeley and Stansted Mountfitchet, according to a report prepared for Tuesday's scrutiny committee.

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A spokesman for Stansted Airport said: "On-street airport-related parking is a matter we take very seriously as demonstrated through the collaborative and extensive work of the fly-parking task force, which includes not just the airport but also NEPP and all the relevant local authorities.

"If residents suspect there may be an issue in their area they can report this via a dedicated freephone number, details of which are available on UDC's website."

It is thought the task and finish group is looking to begin its work in January.