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Deadline for Residents’ Comments on New Parking Permit Scheme This Friday

Published on: 22 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 25 Aug, 2023

Paper residents’ parking permits in Guildford will be replaced with virtual permits if a proposal by Surrey County Council is approved.

A deadline for public consultation has been extended until Friday, August 25.

If the “virtual” permits are approved there would be no visible indication in or on a vehicle that it can legitimately be parked in a resident-only parking space so members of the public could not easily tell if a vehicle was parked legitimately.

A virtual permit would be recorded electronically. Parking enforcement officers use electronic devices to scan licence plates to check if the car has a valid resident or visitor parking permit.

It is hoped that by making the change the county council, which took back control from the borough and district councils for on-street parking in April, will make efficiency savings by scrapping the more labour-intensive administration of the paper scheme.

The SCC webpage where you can register your views. Click here to link.

If given the go-ahead the virtual resident and visitor parking permits would continue to be rolled out progressively across Surrey and introduced in Guildford in September when existing permits come up for renewal. A contract for the management of the service has already been awarded to NSL, part of Marston Holdings.

Already anyone applying for a new permit will be issued with a virtual’permit. However, the plan is that carers’ permits – which are often shared amongst a number of carers – will remain as paper.

Cllr Fiona Davidson

Fiona Davidson, the R4GV county councillor for Guildford South East, said: “I have some reservations about the impact of virtual permits in Guildford town centre.

“I believe that, within Surrey, Guildford is exceptional, because of the large numbers of visitors who frequent the bars, shops, restaurants and other facilities, the limited amount of resident parking, and the large number of residents who live very close to the facilities used by visitors.

“However, I am told that virtual permits have been introduced in other towns in Surrey and elsewhere, without any significant issues.

“The consultation will allow residents to have their say, and I would encourage all residents impacted by the changes to contribute”

Click here to take part: Guildford Virtual Parking Permits and Waiver Certificates – Surrey County Council – Citizen Space (

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Responses to Deadline for Residents’ Comments on New Parking Permit Scheme This Friday

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    August 22, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    My issue is why a notorious debt collection company (electric prepaid meter installation) has been engaged to issue permits. This is a straight though private police force! As they are responsible for parking enforcement as well no protection of segregation between issue and enforcement!

  2. Mr Keith Francis Reply

    August 22, 2023 at 5:14 pm

    I was caught out by a mal-functioning ticket machine at Waitrose in Guilford as when I returned to my car a parking officer had already issued the ticket.

  3. Andrew Eacott Reply

    August 22, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    What is the point jn having a consultation when the decision has already been made and virtual permits have been issued in Guildford since at least April ?

    Does anyone really believe that these council consultations are anything but a box ticking exercise ?

  4. Wayne Smith Reply

    August 22, 2023 at 8:29 pm

    Consultation opened 28th July. Extended until 25th Aug. A contract has already been awarded to a company to manage the new scheme. Anyone currently applying for a permit will be issued with a virtual one and the new scheme will be introduced in Guildford in September.
    It says everything you need to know about Surrey County Council and consultation ! Shades of London Road cycle paths.

  5. Man on the Clapham omnibus Reply

    August 22, 2023 at 10:16 pm

    Is it not strange that a contract has been awarded to a private company to administer and manage the new parking permit arrangements prior to the consultation. Horse Cart springs to my mind but clearly standard practice in local and national Government.

  6. S Callanan Reply

    August 23, 2023 at 11:12 am

    Is the current paper-based scheme really that much more “labour-intensive”?

    I’ve been renewing my GBC paper resident’s permit online for years. My impression is that the whole process is automated from reminder arriving, to making the application, to payment, to the arrival of the new permit in the post.

    Surrey County Council entered into a seven year contract worth £96.5m with Marstons Holdings/NSL in December of 2022. Though that does include other enforcement matters than parking.

    I saw an enforcement officer going up our road the other weekend looking from side to side to check on paper permits in the cars’ windows. Under the new all singing and dancing regime they’ll have to point a device at the registration plate of each car. And that’s less “labour-intensive”?

    People will have seen the concerns raised about the closure of ticket offices at stations The arguments for closure are (as ever) all about efficiency: just use the machines or have your ticket on your smartphone. But it’s older travellers who are most affected. They aren’t always comfortable with the technology and (like me) very often don’t have a smartphone. So it will be with virtual permits. I could buy ten paper visitors’ permits from GBC in one online visit and give them to visitors as needed. Now, having bought my ten virtual permits, I have to go back online each time I want to activate one.

    Less “labour-intensive”? Not for me, it isn’t. Let’s keep the paper for those who want to use it.

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