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Resident Parking Scheme Policy


1.1. This policy has been developed to address parking issues and future challenges within Cambridgeshire that affect access and / or residents’ vehicular parking availability. It creates a framework for the consideration of the introduction / extension of formalised Resident Parking Schemes.

1.2. The Local Transport Plan (LTP) highlights the importance of managing traffic and the space available both efficiently and effectively to enable the delivery of the continued growth and development of sustainable communities across the county. This policy augments this plan by illustrating the conditions where Resident Parking Schemes may be considered, along with their key operational aspects. It sets out an approach to be applied across Cambridgeshire.


2.1. The highway is an area of land which the public have the right to use, passing and repassing without let or hindrance. Although residents and other road users have no automatic parking entitlements, residents’ parking is generally allowed where it does not:

  • Impinge on the movement of traffic
  • Create a safety hazard or obstruct access for other highway users including cyclists and pedestrians or
  • Cause damage to the fabric of the highway

2.2. As the Highway Authority the Council may consider introducing parking restrictions for a variety of reasons including:

  • If there are highway safety and access issues
  • If there is a significant risk of accidents
  • Traffic management or environmental reasons or
  • To incorporate wider integrated traffic or parking management schemes or the objectives detailed in the LTP

2.3. Restrictions on parking, such as yellow lines, should not be used as a way of meeting other strategic objectives. The introduction of single or double yellow lines will only be considered in residential areas where:

  • Services and / or emergency vehicles cannot gain access to a road due to parked vehicles
  • There are significant road safety issues arising due to the location of parked vehicles
  • Significant traffic delays and/or congestion is occurring due to the parked vehicles during peak traffic flow periods

2.4. Resident Parking Schemes can be used in certain circumstances to prioritise the available parking space in a road or area. Schemes can help in situations where residents regularly find it difficult to park within a reasonable distance of their homes because of other competing / evolving parking needs.

2.5. Schemes are most often requested and introduced in residential areas near to city or town centres or where other major sources of parking demand occur, e.g. hospitals and universities. Schemes do not guarantee a parking space for individual residents, but do provide a better opportunity for residents to park near their homes.

2.6. The provision of resident parking should form part of area wide proposals with the level of parking provided for residents balanced with other local needs.


3.1. The provision for Resident Parking Schemes takes into account the aims of the County Council's strategic transport objectives (LTP) and the needs of residents and local communities whilst supporting and promoting sustainable transport as a means of reducing congestion, carbon emissions and air pollution.

3.2. It also promotes the introduction of new technologies such as ‘virtual’ permits and the use of the Government Digital Verification Service.

3.3. This policy is designed to help ensure that:

  • Requests for the introduction of Resident Parking Schemes are dealt with in a fair, consistent and transparent way
  • Schemes that are introduced meet an approved set of criteria and have been through a localised consultation and engagement process
  • On-street parking controls reasonably balance both the present and evolving parking needs of the local residents and general community
  • Schemes are cost neutral to the County Council

An introduction to Resident Parking Schemes

Is a Resident Parking Scheme the solution?

4.1. The introduction of a Resident Parking Scheme is one of a number of options available to address existing / evolving resident parking needs and issues / problems. Other options may be more suitable depending on the nature of the parking challenges - for example, the introduction of double yellow lines to protect junctions or white access protection marks to protect access to residents’ driveways.

4.2. The main advantages and disadvantages of a Resident Parking Scheme include:


  • Better management of limited parking spaces
  • Improved traffic flow / emergency vehicle and waste / recycling removal access
  • Improved road safety
  • Encouraging use of alternative modes of transport
  • Improved air quality through better traffic movement and fewer vehicles generating emissions


  • No guarantee of a parking space
  • Reduction of available parking spaces - in order to accommodate emergency vehicle access, waste / recycling removal, pedestrian access, junction protection and the introduction of pay and display, disabled and car club bays to support the local community and local businesses
  • Displacement of non-resident parking into surrounding areas
  • Cost of introduction and management of scheme
  • Additional street furniture

4.3. Whilst the introduction of a Resident Parking Scheme can discourage certain groups of non-residents from parking in an area, so increasing the likelihood that a resident can park close to their home, there is no entitlement or guarantee of a space within the scheme area.

4.4. Each Resident Parking Scheme will be designed to reasonably balance the needs of the community where the scheme is introduced - e.g. a community experiencing problems from commuters parking during the week is likely to need a different solution from a community with weekend problems through shopper parking.

Can a scheme be introduced anywhere?

4.5. Whilst it is widely accepted that schemes can assist where residents face parking issues caused by other parked / waiting vehicles - including non-residents - a Resident Parking Scheme may not necessarily suit all areas. Before a scheme is implemented an assessment is made to ensure that introducing a scheme is:

  • Technically, financially and operationally feasible
  • The most effective way of addressing the parking issue
  • Cognisant of new or displaced parking problems

Only schemes which are assessed as feasible and meet the criteria described in this policy may be implemented.

How does a Resident Parking Scheme work?

4.6. Resident Parking Schemes come about through a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) under the Road Traffic Act 1984. Whilst the TRO restricts parking, it exempts permit holders from these restrictions. The TRO makes a provision for parking bays for residents’ use and may also make a provision for other types of bays such as pay and display bays and restrictions such as double yellow lines to balance safety requirements and the needs of the local community.

4.7. The design of a scheme must consider a number of factors including the level of parking demand, available on-street parking space, local community needs and safety / access requirements whilst providing an effective means of improving the availability of parking for residents. Residents and other affected parties are given the opportunity to provide feedback on draft proposals as part of the consultation process.

4.8. Within Resident Parking Schemes streets are divided into areas where parking is prohibited (such as double yellow lines) or permitted (such as residents’ or pay and display bays). In order to park where permitted, the respective valid permit, blue badge or pay and display ticket must be clearly displayed or, with virtual permits, comply with the operation rules of the scheme.

Permit categories can vary and are usually made available to residents and their visitors, however may include other users dependent on the highway such as Blue Badge holders. Any vehicle found parked without a valid permit, Blue Badge or pay and display ticket will be subject to a fine, through the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

4.9. For a scheme to work, a pro-active enforcement regime is required to ensure that the terms of the order are upheld.

Scheme funding

How much does a scheme cost?

5.1. The costs are associated with Resident Parking Schemes fall into two main categories:

Set up costs

  • Technical survey and scheme design
  • Public engagement and consultation
  • Preparation and publication of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)
  • Purchase and installation of signs and lines

Ongoing costs

  • Administration - processing and issuing permits
  • Enforcement of the scheme
  • Maintenance - replacing signs and refreshing lines

5.2. As schemes are, by their nature, of direct benefit to a small and localised group of residents, the general principle will apply that those that directly benefitting from the introduction of Resident Parking Schemes should meet the development and set up costs and the ongoing charges of schemes.

5.3. As Resident Parking Schemes as a whole should be self-funding, the charge for a permit must cover all associated costs. If there is a surplus or a deficit in funding of a scheme, this will be taken into account when permit fees are reviewed.

What are scheme set-up costs?

5.4. Set-up cost associated with installation of a Resident Parking Scheme should be recovered via a one-off charge to residents when they first purchase a residents’ permit. For simplicity, the level of a one-off fee will be equivalent to the annual permit charge for a standard resident parking scheme (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

How much does a permit cost?

5.5. Introduction, ongoing management and enforcement costs of the scheme are recovered via permit income. Residents will be informed of how much permits cost before a scheme is implemented. Permit costs vary according to the scope of individual schemes and vehicle type. As part of the consultation process, when a new scheme is introduced information about the permit costs will be made available.

5.6. The cost of visitor’s permits will cover administration and enforcement. The level of charge takes into account the cost of other services such as Park and Ride to encourage the use of sustainable transport alternatives.

Scheme criteria

6.1. To ensure that resources are used effectively, all requests for the introduction of a Resident Parking Scheme will be assessed using the criteria described in this policy. A request for a scheme will not be progressed if it fails to meet the specified criteria. Schemes will be expected to be self-sustaining financially.

6.2. A scheme will be considered only where all the below criteria are met:

  • The request for a consultation on a Resident Parking Scheme is supported by the local county councillor(s).

  • The introduction of a Resident Parking Scheme is considered to be the most effective way to address the existing / evolving parking issue / problem.

  • There is only limited off-street parking.

  • It can be demonstrated that a large number of non-residents are frequently parking in the area for extended periods causing a significant demand on parking.

  • There is insufficient space to accommodate residents’ and non-residents’ needs simultaneously.

  • The majority (over 50%) of households responding to the survey support the introduction of a Resident Parking Scheme. Avoiding the need for consensus within an area by reducing the area is not considered an effective or efficient way of managing parking as experience shows that the problem transfers to streets excluded from an area.

  • The area proposed consists of clearly defined blocks of streets to deter, as far as reasonably practicable, the migration of parking into surrounding streets. In exceptional circumstances, small isolated cul-de-sacs that lead directly off main roads or local distributor roads may be considered.

  • The proposed Resident Parking Scheme is technically, financially and operationally feasible.

6.3. All Resident Parking Schemes should complement the provisions of other parking restrictions to address localised obstruction, safety issues and wider, integrated traffic or parking management schemes that encourage the use of alternative facilities such as off-street parking or park and ride schemes.

6.4. New proposals from areas where previously the introduction of Resident Parking Scheme has not been supported by the majority of residents will be considered only where the local community can demonstrate that the problem has changed significantly or the cause(s) of the previous failure has been overcome and the level of support increased to the required level.

Prioritising a Resident Parking Scheme

7.1. Formal requests for schemes will be considered annually during a defined period, August through to November. This will enable a clear programme of works to be in place by the following April. Potentially viable schemes will be subject to a feasibility test according to the criteria described in this policy. If the proposed scheme fails the assessment it will not be progressed.

7.2. At times it may not be possible to progress all requests for Resident Parking Schemes when demand exceeds available resources. Where it is not possible to accommodate all requests, those having a lower prioritisation and not included for progressing in that round of schemes will be placed on a waiting list to be considered during the next round. A parking occupancy survey will be undertaken and requests prioritised using the following criteria:

  • The level of on-street parking
  • The availability of off-street / alternative parking
  • The total level of parking occupancy on-street
  • Existing accessibility / access issues
  • Number of properties affected

Creating a new Resident Parking Scheme

8.1. Steps from initiation to implementation of a scheme include:

Informal stage

  • Defining the issue / problems and geographic area
  • A survey led by the local county councillor(s) to establish the level of support for the introduction of a Resident Parking Scheme

Formal stage

  • Scheme approval in principle, by the Head of the Highways Service
  • Undertaking a feasibility study and defining / refining the parking plan for the area
  • A formal consultation with residents and other groups that may be impacted by the proposed change
  • Drafting and publishing the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and dealing with objections
  • Scheme implementation

8.2. Local county councillors will need to carefully consider and weigh up potential risks and impacts of the displacement of non-resident drivers currently parking in their area as there can be no guarantee that resources could be made immediately available to address any associated problems.

If it is not possible to reach an agreement on the extent of the area though consultation with local councillors, the matter will be referred to the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee for determination or, in the case of Cambridge City, to the Cambridge Joint Area Committee.

Variation or rescinding of an existing Resident Parking Scheme

9.1. Requests for changes within established schemes will be considered during the period defined in 7.1.

9.2. Requests for changes to existing schemes or the removal of a scheme involve a number of steps:

Informal stage

  • Defining the issue and area affected
  • An informal consultation led by the local county councillor
  • Changes are supported by the majority of households (50%) responding when surveyed

Formal stage

  • Scheme approval in principle by the Head of the Highways Service
  • Drafting and publishing Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)
  • Scheme implementation

9.3. Costs associated with introduction of any agreed variations will be recovered through a one-off charge made to resident scheme members at the point of renewal or initial application. The fee will reflect the costs.

Operational guidance on Resident Parking Schemes

10.1. Each Resident Parking Scheme will be designed to meet the needs of the community where the scheme is being introduced. The operational information detailed below should be used as guidance only and may differ between different Resident Parking Schemes and council districts.

Permits and their use

10.2. Both paper and virtual permits are renewable on an annual or biennial basis and are valid for a maximum of 12 or 24 months. All paper permits will show the name and title of the issuing authority, relevant parking scheme, date the permit expires and reference number. Resident permits will also show a vehicle registration number. Any specialist permits will provide individual details. For details of permit eligibility, please see the following pages.

All paper permits must be displayed on the inside surface of the windscreen so that recorded particulars are clearly visible.

Where a hire or courtesy car replaces an existing vehicle, a visitors’ permit or Temporary Hire Car permit should be displayed.

Visitors’ permits are not for resale and / or the use of paying guests.

Permits are not valid in any other designated parking zone / scheme.

Paper visitors’ permits must be completed in ink; alterations to the details or incorrect usage will automatically render them invalid.

A permit will not be required for vehicles carrying out essential duties and statutory powers (including emergency service vehicles attending an emergency), statutory undertakings, universal service provider for postal service and council / government business. In addition, permits will not be required for vehicles engaged in the continuous loading / unloading of goods or where passengers are boarding or alighting.

Permit types

10.3. When a scheme is designed the type of permits allowed to park within the scheme will be defined. Permit types will vary according to each area and may include:

  • Residents' Permits
  • Visitors' Permits
  • Free Medical Permits
  • Business Permits
  • Car Club Permits
  • Health Care Worker Dispensation
  • Medical Permits
  • Doctors' Permits
  • Tradespeople's Permits
  • Temporary Permits
  • Temporary Hire Car Permit
  • City Centre Residential Access Permit

Permit allocation

10.4. Allocation of residents’ permits per household will be a maximum of three, purchased on a first come first served basis. The maximum allocation of visitors’ permits per applicant will be twenty per annum, each permit allowing five visits. In exceptional circumstances the request for further visitors’ permits will be considered by the Head of the Highways Service in consultation with the chair of Highways and Community Infrastructure committee.

Property eligibility

10.5. Within an existing Resident Parking Scheme:

  • Any new development will not qualify for residents’ parking permits.
  • Where redevelopment of an existing property or properties results in an increase in the number of dwelling(s), no permits will be issued to the new dwelling(s) but the existing dwelling will retain the right to apply for residents’ permits.
  • Where development takes place within the curtilage of a property that does not involve any material change to the existing property or properties but results in the provision of additional but separate dwellings, no permits will be issued to the new dwelling(s) but the existing dwelling(s) will retain the right to apply for residents’ permits.

All dwellings, whether existing or newly developed, will be eligible to apply for visitors’ permits.

New developments

10.6. Within new developments, developers may wish to provide on-street parking. Within urban areas where new roads are being offered up for adoption as public highway, there will be an expectation parking will be permitted on-street in properly designated areas only. The assumption will be that any other parking on-street will not be permitted, with appropriate parking control introduced.

Developers will be required to fund the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process to introduce suitable parking controls.

Vehicle eligibility

10.7. New permits will be issued only to vehicles that do not exceed 5 metres in length and with a maximum of 8 seats.

Only vehicles registered after March 2001 with CO2 emission less than 75g/km will be eligible for emission discount.

Resident Parking Permit eligibility

10.8. To qualify for a resident permit, an individual’s main place of residence must fall within the scheme area and the applicant should own or have the use on a regular basis of a vehicle of the type permitted. Permits are linked to a specific vehicle, not a household.

Applicants must be able to support their application with the following detailed documentary evidence:

  • Valid Driving Licence or Tenancy Agreement
  • Valid certificate of insurance showing the applicant as the main driver
  • Vehicle Registration document where emission discount is claimed

Where the main residence is a riverboat, applicants must be able to support their application with the following detailed documentary evidence:

  • Valid Mooring Licence issued by the local city or district council
  • Valid certificate of insurance showing the applicant as the main driver
  • A letter from the applicant’s insurance company acknowledging they are aware that the vehicle is parked within the relevant Resident Parking Scheme area
  • Vehicle Registration document where emission discount is claimed

Resident parking permits are limited to a maximum of three per household per annum.

Permits are linked to a specific vehicle, not a household.

Visitor permit eligibility

10.9. Residents living in a Resident Parking Scheme can buy visitor permits, enabling their visitors to park their vehicles in a marked residents’ bay within their scheme during the scheme’s operational hours. Residents do not need to hold a valid residents’ permit or own a vehicle to apply for visitors’ permits.

Applicants must be able to support their application with proof of residency. Acceptable documentary evidence includes:

  • Valid Driving Licence
  • Tenancy Agreement
  • Current utility bill (issued in last 3 months)

Where the main residence is a riverboat, applicants must be able to support their applications with a valid Mooring Licence issued by the local city or district council.

Visitors’ parking permits are limited to a maximum of 20 permits (each permit allows 5 visits) per applicant per annum.

Business permits

10.10. If a business has no access to off-street parking and a vehicle is essential to the operation of the business, the business can buy a permit to allow parking within their scheme during operational hours. A limit on the number of permits issued may be set where considered appropriate.

Provision for tradespeople

10.11. If you are a tradesperson who is working on a property within a parking permit scheme and can demonstrate a clear operational need for you vehicle to be parking in that restricted area, you can apply for a tradesperson parking permit either in advance or on the day it is required. Permits can be purchased on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. A tradesperson permit is only valid for the parking scheme for which you apply.

Applicants must be able to provide evidence that they are working at a property within the relevant residents parking zone. Acceptable documentary evidence should be on letter headed paper from the tradesperson and include:

  • Contract for the work or,
  • Invoice or planning permission

Tradespeople permits are limited to two at any one time.

Provision for the medical profession

10.12. Doctors' permits enable general practitioners easy access to their vehicles in the case of an emergency and Medical permits offer those working in the medical profession short-term parking. These permits are only valid within designated Medical and Doctors bays.

Provision for carers

10.13. If a resident is receiving short-term or long-term care in their own home they may be able to apply for free medical permits. These permits can be used by anyone who provides care, including friends and family members-not just registered professionals. The applicant's doctor will need to assess the medical condition or mobility issue and provide an estimate of the number and frequency of official visits required.

Registered healthcare or social care providers, such as a community nurse, can apply for a Health Care Worker dispensation if undertaking unscheduled, emergency based visits to patients or carrying drugs or heavy medical equipment.

Provision for Blue Badge holders

10.14. Valid Blue Badge holders are permitted to park in residents’ parking bays when a valid Blue Badge is correctly displayed, providing the bay has not been suspended. There is no time limitation.

Provision for motorcycles

10.15. To qualify for a resident motorcycle permit, an individual’s main place of residence must fall within the scheme area and the applicant should own or have use on a regular basis of a vehicle of the type permitted. Permits are linked to a specific vehicle not a household.

Applicants must be able to support their application with the following detailed documentary evidence:

  • Valid Driving Licence or Tenancy
  • Valid certificate of insurance showing the applicant as the main driver

Temporary permit / temporary hire car permit

10.16. Temporary permits are used when residents within a scheme are awaiting documentation to apply for an annual permit or when residents are using a courtesy / hire car. Permits can be purchase on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.

Car Clubs

10.17. To reduce car ownership in urban areas, designated parking bays may be provided on-street for car club vehicles. Permits for car club bays shall be issued only to accredited car club operators authorised to operate within that area.

Time of operation

10.18. Times of operation for individual Resident Parking Schemes will be designed to reflect local parking needs and road use; local consultation will help to inform this decision.

The standard operating period for a Resident Parking Schemes is based on weekday non-resident parking (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) and covers the basic administration and enforcement costs. Any extension to the standard operating period will increase the annual cost of residents’ permits to cover any additional enforcement.

As there are basic administration and enforcement costs, a reduction in the standard operating period (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) will not reduce the annual cost of residents’ permits. Enforcing short time restrictions can be more expensive to enforce due to the lack of flexibility in times that enforcement officers are sent to each area hence additional staff may be required to enforce effectively.

Transfer of permits

10.19. Permits cannot be transferred from one vehicle to another. When a resident changes their vehicle any paper permit should be returned along with a copy of the certificate of insurance showing them as the main insured driver or policy holder of the new vehicle. A replacement permit will be sent.

In the case of ‘virtual permits’, please contact the Parking Services Team.


10.20. Residents’ permits are subject to annual or biennial renewal. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to ensure that they apply to renew their permit. Existing permit holders will usually be invited to renew their permit and, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, will be approved for a new permit. Where a resident fails to renew their permit before the expiry date it will be assumed that the resident does not wish to renew and after a period of 10 working days from the expiry date, the permit will be made available to other residents.

Once a permit has expired there is no automatic ‘grace period’ before enforcement action may be taken.


10.21. Where a resident no longer requires their permit they should return the paper permit to the Parking Services Team to receive a refund. Refunds will be made for each whole quarter remaining on the permit after an administration fee has been deducted. Refunds will not be given in relation to any permits which have been defaced or tampered with. In the case of ‘virtual permits’, contact the Parking Services Team.

Unused and expired visitors’ permits will not be refunded or exchanged.

Stolen / lost permits

10.22. Where a paper permit is lost or stolen a resident can obtain a replacement by applying to the Parking Services Team. A replacement permit will be approved subject to an administration fee, provided the resident still meets the eligibility criteria.

Moving home

10.23. Where a resident moves out of the Resident Parking Scheme area they should return their paper permit to the Parking Services Team to receive a refund. Refunds will be made for each full quarter remaining on the permit after an administration fee has been deducted. Refunds will not be given in relation to any permits which have been defaced or tampered with.

In the case of ‘virtual permits’, contact the Parking Services Team.

Permit misuse

10.24. The council reserves the right to revoke any permit(s) issued to individuals who abuse the Resident Parking Scheme by:

  • Tampering with a permit
  • Supplying a permit to others who are not entitled to use them
  • No longer meeting the qualifying criteria
  • Payment not cleared

The council may refuse to approve a permit to individuals who have failed to comply with the terms of a Resident Parking Scheme.

Scheme area

10.25. This is the road or geographic area described in the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which introduces restricted parking and allows parking with a permit.


10.26. Where a building is made up of separate, self-contained dwellings (e.g. flats) each separate dwelling with an independent postal address will be treated as a separate household. Properties that are either new or have been developed within an established scheme will be omitted from the scheme.

Riverboats will be treated as a household where it is the main residence, has a permanent mooring and holds a valid mooring licence issued by the local city or district council.


10.27. Residents’ parking bays can be temporarily suspended or altered in special circumstances such as building work, removals, filming, special events, weddings and funerals and for security reasons.

Advisory explanatory signage will be placed adjacent to a suspended bay showing the times / days of operation. A Penalty Charge Notice may be issued to any vehicle parked in a suspended bay.

Alternative parking will not be provided and permit refunds not considered.


10.28. Whilst the Council encourages all road users to comply with highway regulations, it accepts that the level of compliance is optimised and sustained through timely and effective enforcement so as to:

  • Enforce parking contraventions in a fair and consistent manner for the benefit of all parking users
  • Encourage sensible parking to improve access and protect public safety
  • Provide safe parking places with clear markings and signage
  • Ease congestion by keeping streets clear to enable smooth traffic flow

A necessary and integral part of any Resident Parking Scheme is visible and effective enforcement action, to help ensure that the terms of the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) are observed.

The County Council will undertake enforcement only where Civil Enforcement powers are enacted. Whilst in the market towns outside Cambridge, enforcement currently remains the responsibility of the Police, enforcement responsibilities may be delegated to the District Council with the agreement of both the District and County Councils.

Penalty Charge Notices / Fixed Penalty Notices will be served to all vehicles observed parking in contravention of the rules/times of any Resident Parking Scheme.

Maintaining traffic movement

10.29. The following minimum criteria will be adopted to maintain available highway widths for traffic movements:

  • A free carriageway width of 3.1m is required between marked bays
  • With parking to one side, an overall width of 4.9m
  • With parking on both sides, an overall width of 6.7m

In exceptional circumstances, and following consultation with the police and the emergency services, it may be possible to reduce the above widths.

Footway parking

10.30. The Council has a responsibility to keep footways safe to use, to maintain safe passage for pedestrians, rather than to facilitate parking. Parking on footways:

  • Creates safety issues for pedestrians and can hide other vehicles particularly on bends, narrow roads and at junctions
  • Creates an obstruction and hazard for the visually impaired, disabled and elderly people and those with prams and pushchairs
  • Can cause damage to the footway

Parking on footways would be considered in exceptional circumstances only where there is no impact on safety or pedestrian movement and where the underlying construction is suitable for vehicles.