Devon County Council has launched a new care and health worker parking permit that allows professionals visiting people at home to park on double yellow lines in certain circumstances.
Currently, care and health professionals who hold the existing permit can park in on-street, limited waiting and residents’ parking bays for no charge when delivering essential services to residents in their homes.
A spokesman for Devon County Council said holders of the improved permit will additionally be allowed to park on yellow lines for up to an hour – but only if there is no other parking available, if they are making a home visit, the permit is clearly displayed and the vehicle is not causing an obstruction. The parked vehicle must not block access or pose a danger to road users by, for instance, parking on a corner.
The improved scheme is being launched initially as a year-long pilot and the changes are in recognition that in some communities parking can be difficult to find and can add to the stress of an already demanding job.
The new permits will be in the form of a time clock, like those issued to blue badge holders, which must be displayed.
For those working for care and health companies, agencies or organisations, including the NHS, the permits will be managed and distributed by their line manager who will allocate each permit to eligible staff.
Devon County Council’s Traffic Management Team has been contacting care and health companies, agencies and organisations with staff who could be eligible for the permit directly. While a separate process to allow eligible sole practitioners to apply will be phased in next year.
A spokesman for Devon County Council said the new scheme follows a consultation in which 89% of respondents agreed that including yellow lines in the scheme would make their jobs easier and 80 per cent said it would help them care for their clients.
Almost 65 per cent said it would help them manage stress and most said that parking near their clients’ homes would help them feel safer if they were working alone.
Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health Services, said:
‘Care and health workers are highly valued, they help some of the most vulnerable in our communities live in their homes for longer. This scheme will make it easier for them to do their jobs and improve access to those living at home.
‘It will reduce the pressure that workers feel when looking for parking and help them to arrive at their appointments in good time, which will improve the service they can deliver.’
Sole practitioners providing care and support to Devon clients in their homes can register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit – Devon County Council