Parking Dispensations and Parking Bay Suspensions

  1. Introduction
  2. Do I need a Dispensation Permit or a Parking Bay Suspended?
  3. Use of Dispensations Permits and cancellation
  4. Free Dispensation Permits or Parking Bay Suspensions
  5. Charges
  6. Applying for a Dispensation Permit or Parking Bay Suspension
  7. Legislation/Bylaws

1. Introduction

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) recognises that sometimes it is necessary for a vehicle to be parked in contravention of parking regulations to enable the driver to perform a task or activity. This procedure sets out the criteria for the issue of a dispensation permit or parking bay suspension and the associated costs.

2. Dispensation Permits or Parking Bay Suspension?


Where a need is identified, ABC can, at its discretion, issue a dispensation permit to allow a vehicle to park in a restricted area. The dispensation permit must be clearly displayed in the vehicle for which it has been issued so that a Civil Enforcement Officer can inspect the permit.

Suspended bay

Parking bay(s) can be reserved for a specific purpose and for a designated period of time. Where a need is identified, ABC can, at its discretion, suspend the parking of vehicles in a parking bay or run of parking bays. Signs will be erected to advise other motorists that they cannot park in the parking bay(s). 'No waiting' cones will only be used where the council considers it necessary. The council will not suspend parking in a disabled persons parking bay unless absolutely necessary.

Application criteria

Q1: Is there a real need for the vehicle to be parked on the restriction?

The vehicle must be continuously needed at the location to enable the task or activity to be carried out. A dispensation permit will not be considered on the grounds of convenience. Applications will only be accepted if a real need is identified. For example, a plumber is fitting a boiler where tools and parts are in the vehicle and the tools and parts are needed throughout the job, or a builder working on a roof where ladders are needed.

Q2: Is there a realistic alternative parking place?

If the applicant can legitimately park elsewhere, for example in a public car park, a dispensation permit will not be issued. Where a dispensation permit is appropriate, consideration will be given as to the best place for the vehicle to park in that locality.

Q3: What is likely to be the impact of approving the application?

Consideration will always be given to ensure that any parking minimises the potential impact on other road users. For every application steps will be taken to check if any road works or other dispensations have been approved. Road works schedules can be found on If there are scheduled road works or existing dispensations the feasibility of having more vehicles at this location will be considered. Road works will always take priority.

Q4: What road safety implications are there to approving the application?

This is a key consideration, whilst the onus is always on the driver to park safely and appropriately, ABC will not give permission for dangerous or discourteous parking. The vehicle must not obstruct other motorists either physically or their line of sight. The vehicle must not be parked too close to a busy junction, or in a way which might obstruct the safe passage of pedestrians. The vehicle must not park adjacent to a vehicular dropped kerb; unless it is a dropped kerb giving access to the property where the task or activity is being carried out. The vehicle must not be parked adjacent to a pedestrian dropped kerb.

Q5: Has the applicant paid the correct fee?

See charges for more information on fees.

If all these criteria are satisfied ABC may issue a parking dispensation.

Criteria for Dispensation Permits
Dispensation permits may be issued to park in: Dispensation permits will not* be issued to park in:
Limited waiting bays Disabled bays
Loading bays Bus stops
Single yellow lines Taxi ranks
Pay and Display parking bays Streets where a loading ban is in force
Bays reserved for specific users (e.g. Doctor/Police/motorcycles) Double yellow lines

* (other than in exceptional circumstances)

3. Use of dispensations permits and cancellation

A dispensation permit or parking bay suspension will normally be issued for:

  • Building, maintenance, demolition purposes where close proximity to the site is essential
  • Furniture removals
  • Funerals - the hearse and chief mourners’ vehicles
  • Weddings - the bridal vehicle
  • Other circumstances where the council might reasonably regard the requirement to be essential

All dispensation permits can be cancelled or suspended at any point, and the driver of a vehicle displaying a dispensation permit may be required to move their vehicle if instructed to do so by a Civil Enforcement Officer, Police Officer or any local authority official. Dispensation permits are only to be used for the reasons outlined, and in the manner outlined. Any abuse of the service may result in the dispensation permit being cancelled and future applications being rejected.

4. Free Dispensation Permits or Parking Bay Suspensions

Under exceptional circumstances Ashford Borough Council may issue a dispensation permit or suspend a parking bay free of charge. For example, if a charity wishes to park a vehicle in a town centre location in order to provide free information to the public. These will be considered at the discretion of the parking management.

5. Charges

Permit type Charge
Dispensation Permit Monday - Friday only* £30.00 per week or part week
*Additional charge for occupying a Pay and Display parking bay Additional £10.00 per day up to a maximum of £30 per week, plus the basic charge above.
Parking Bay Suspension Monday - Friday only £50.00 per week or part week

If a weekend permit is required please email: to obtain authorisation.

Payment must be made by credit/debit card on 01233 331111 once an application has been approved.

A dispensation permit or parking bay suspension will not be issued until payment had been received.

6. Applying for a Dispensation Permit or Parking Bay Suspension

Applications must be made by completing our online application form by following the link below. Additional guidance is also provided on the form.

Parking Dispensation or Bay Suspension Application Form [pdf] 235KB

N.B. Parking Services may require up to ten (10) days to consider a parking dispensation application in most circumstances. Amongst other things, we need to check that there are no other events taking place in the area that might interfere with the proposed suspensions on the requested day(s). Applications made at short notice may not be agreed given the potential effects this might have over scheduled events.

If you have any queries about these rules or related matters please contact the team by email to We will try to answer as quickly as we can.

7. Legislation/Bylaws

The Kent County Council (Various Roads, Borough of Ashford) (Waiting Restrictions and Street Parking Places) Consolidation Order 2018 allows Ashford Borough Council (as agents of the highway authority) to issue dispensation permits to park and to suspend parking bays for various purposes.