Virtual exemption permits for Blue Badge holders

    What is a “BOW virtual permit”?

    A “BOW virtual permit” is the name of the virtual permit issued by Enfield Council that exempts permitted vehicles to pass through camera-enforced modal filters in the Bowes Primary Area Quieter Neighbourhood (Bowes Primary Area QN) without receiving a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). Virtual permits mean that a permit will be registered to a vehicle without a physical permit being issued to the permit holder. 


    You may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) if your vehicle is seen passing through a camera-enforced modal filter and it is not the same vehicle registered on your permit.

    Who is eligible?

    Those eligible for a BOW virtual permit must:

    • Live within the BOW Permit Zone Enfield borough, 
    • Live within the BOW permit zone - Haringey borough, and
    • Hold a valid Blue Badge.


    A map of the Permit Zone can be viewed in the Document Library on this page.


    BOW permit holders can nominate one vehicle to pass through the camera enforced modal filters within the Bowes Primary Area Quieter Neighbourhood without receiving a Penalty Charge Notice.


    The permit could either apply to the Blue Badge holder’s own vehicle or another nominated vehicle where the user of that vehicle has a role in the care of the Blue Badge holder.


    We are reviewing this initial approach to exemptions and developing further eligibility criteria.

    What is the policy for Blue Badge holders?

    Enfield Blue Badge holders residing within the BOW Permit Zone are eligible to apply for a virtual BOW Permit. A map of the Permit Zone can be viewed in the Document Library on this page.


    BOW permit holders can nominate one vehicle to pass through camera enforced modal filters within the Bowes Primary Area Quieter Neighbourhood without receiving a Penalty Charge Notice.


    The permit could either apply to the Blue Badge holder’s own vehicle or another nominated vehicle where the user of that vehicle has a role in the care of the Blue Badge holder within the Quieter Neighbourhood area.

    I have a Blue Badge and I live within the Bowes Primary Area Quieter Neighbourhood. Do I need to apply for a virtual permit?

    Yes. As a Blue Badge is personal, the holder must nominate the vehicle to which the exemption applies.

    At which locations do exemptions apply?

    Exemptions apply only to the Quieter Neighbourhood in which the permit holder lives. The BOW virtual permit applies to camera enforced filters within Enfield’s Bowes Primary Area Quieter Neighbourhood. There are two camera-enforced filters in place within Bowes Primary Area Quieter Neighbourhood. These are located on Warwick Road near its junction with Maidstone Road and on Maidstone Road at its junction with Warwick Road.  

    How do I know if I can drive through the camera-enforced filter?

    Motor vehicles are not able to pass through the filter unless exempt. Signage is in place that states which permit holders are exempt, and therefore can pass through the camera-enforced filter. 


    The signs read “Except permit holders BOW”.

    Where is the BOW Permit Zone? How do I know if I live within the zone?

    You can view the BOW Permit Zone map in the Document Library on this page. If you are a Blue Badge holder and the address registered to your Blue Badge is within the BOW Permit Zone, you are eligible to apply for a “BOW permit”.

    How can I apply?

    To apply for a permit, please visit:

    You will need to upload evidence of your Blue Badge when you apply. You also need to know the vehicle registration (number plate) of the vehicle to which you would like the exemption to apply.

    1. Click “Apply for or renew a parking permit”
    2. Create a new account if you don’t already have one. If you already have an account for parking permits, you can use your existing login information.
    3. Click “Permit application” 
    4. Select “Blue Badge Exemption Permits”
    5. Follow the remaining steps on screen and upload your supporting documentation.

    You will receive an acknowledgement to confirm if your application has been approved. 

    Help is provided for those who require assistance with their application. Please see here for more information.

    How can I get help to apply for a virtual permit?

    You can apply for a permit online. If you prefer, you can also access our services and apply for a permit at our parking shop. 

    You can visit the parking shop 24 hours a day, any day, including bank holidays at:

    NSL Limited
    Unit 1
    Crown Road
    EN1 1TH

    For more information about the parking shop, contact 020 3856 0036 (24 hours a day).

    Is there a permit fee?

    There will be no charge for these permits.

    I don’t have my own vehicle, but I have a Blue Badge and live within the BOW Permit Zone – can I apply?

    Yes, if you are a Blue Badge holder you can apply for a virtual permit to exempt your nominated vehicle.


    You can nominate a vehicle where the user of that vehicle has a role in your care.

    How long does my “BOW” virtual permit last?

    The virtual permit will expire at the same time as your Blue Badge expires. If you renew your Blue Badge, you will need to provide evidence of the renewed Blue Badge to the Council so the virtual exemption permit can be renewed. You can do this in the same way that you apply for the BOW virtual permit initially.

    If you wish to renew your virtual permit, please apply at least 21 days before the current permit expires.

    Will I need to display anything in my car?

    No, the BOW permit is virtual and permit holders do not need to display anything within their nominated vehicle.

    Can I change the vehicle on my permit?

    Yes. You can manage the vehicle registered to your BOW virtual permit via the following link:

    The BOW virtual Permit Holder is responsible to make sure the nominated vehicle’s details are up to date. You will receive a notification when the change in vehicle has been processed.

    I don’t meet the criteria for a BOW virtual permit. Can I apply?

    Those eligible for a BOW virtual permit must:

    • Live within the BOW Permit Zone, and
    • Hold a valid Blue Badge issued by Enfield Council.

     If you do not meet this criteria you will not be able to apply.

    The Council will conduct future engagement with residents and disability groups on the potential for the development of this initial approach to permits. This could include the creation of additional categories to the BOW permit such as other carers, and the use of other exemptions in particular circumstances.

Explanation of Terms

    What is an Experimental Traffic Order?

    Experimental Traffic Orders (ETOs) enable the Council to implement the scheme on a trial basis. The scheme can be in place for a short period and removed or changed. There is no minimum length of time after the initial implementation after which the scheme can be removed or changed. However, the Council would like to ensure an appropriate amount of time to assess viability of the scheme before any decisions are made. 

    A consultation must take place during the trial period and before a decision is made on whether to remove the trial of make the scheme permanent. 

    A report will be written to summarise the feedback. Monitoring will also inform any decision made by the Council. Haringey officers will also be involved in discussions during the scheme trial period and before any decisions are made on changing the scheme or making it permanent. 

    The Council, including ward councillors are committed to undertaking a meaningful consultation that will inform our decision making for the Bowes scheme. 

    What is a modal filter?

    A modal filter is a road closure for motor vehicles, which continues to enable people to walk and cycle through the closure point. Two main types of modal filters will be used:

    • Standard modal filter:

    Large bolted-down planters and bollards typically placed within the traffic lanes to close the road to through motor traffic. People cycling are allowed to travel between the planters, but all motor vehicles, including mopeds and motorcycles, cannot proceed through the filter.

    • Camera-enforced modal filter:

    Large bolted-down planters typically placed at the side of the traffic lanes to reduce the width of the road. There is no physical barrier, such as a bollard or gate, placed between the planters to stop the general traffic passing through the modal filter. Instead, a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera is used to enforce the ‘Motor vehicles prohibited’ signs which are placed on each side of the modal filter. Sufficient gap is provided between the planters to allow through access for cyclists and exempt motor vehicles such as emergency services. Any other motor vehicles travelling through this modal filter would be captured by a CCTV camera and issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for not obeying the traffic restriction.

    What is a bus gate / emergency gate?

    A bus gate is a point on the road where only buses (or other authorised vehicles like emergency services) can pass through. They are typically camera enforced, meaning that if you ignore the signs and pass through the bus gate, you will receive a fine. The purpose of a bus gate is to reduce private traffic passing through a certain point, whist ensuring that a bus service is not impacted in the way it would be if the road was physically closed. An emergency gate works the same way - whilst there might not be buses on a particular route, in order to assist with the flow of emergency vehicles through an area an emergency services gate is used rather than a physical road closure. 

    These are typically enforced by a camera and any unauthorised use will result in a penalty notice. London ambulance service has told us that the existing width restriction on Warwick Road does not allow their new fleet of vehicles to pass, without needing to interrupt the journey to open the barrier. The proposed camera-controlled restriction point therefore improves this situation, ensuring ambulances have easy access into the estate from the south, as well as from the north.

Process of the Trial

    How will the success of the scheme be monitored?

    There will be a range of assessments that will need to be balanced when judging the overall success of the trial. Assessments will include:

    • Residents views on how the benefits of the scheme compare against the disbenefits
    • Data on the volume of motor vehicle movements in the area
    • Data on the speed of motor vehicles in the area
    • Impacts on the primary roads surrounding the area
    • Air quality considerations
    • Bus journey time considerations through discussion with Transport for London
    • Outcomes of ongoing dialogue with the Emergency Services

    Reporting on the trial will also consider whether the scheme supports the delivery of the Enfield Council Plan.

    We have already collected traffic data in the area, counting vehicle movements at a range of locations throughout the area, including on surrounding roads. We will repeat this process once the measures have been implemented and can start to compare the data to determine the level of success and impact.

    We will also carry out air quality modelling using traffic data collected.

    For more information refer to:

    • The Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan in the Document Library
    • The “How are you monitoring air quality?” FAQ.

    How are you monitoring air quality?

    The Council has a diffusion tube on Brownlow Road and Warwick Road and a real-time monitoring station at Bowes Primary, at the front of the school, facing the A406.

    The diffusion tubes are changed on a monthly basis and are for indicative monitoring. The real-time monitoring station has a nitrogen dioxide analyser and a PM10 (fine dust) analyser, both of which run 24-hours a day, 365 days of the year and are much more accurate than diffusion tubes.

    Our monitoring data from the real-time site at Bowes Primary School is available on the London Air Quality Monitoring Network:

    Residents can download monitoring data using the ‘Tools’ tab on the front page of the website.

    Feedback from the consultation will also be analysed to develop insights into the views of the community and how they assess the benefits of the scheme against any dis-benefits. These views are likely to vary depending upon where in the area you live.

    The formal report will outline all these factors when looking to determine the overall success of the scheme.

    For more information refer to the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan in the Document Library.

    Has an Equality Impact Assessment been carried out?

    Yes. An Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) has been carried out and a copy of this can be found in the library on the right-hand side of the main project page. This is a live document that is anticipated to be updated throughout the life of the project. Any new information gathered during the consultation and the trial will be considered in the decision-making process and the EQIA will be updated periodically accordingly.

    Are residents being consulted?

    Yes. Given the ETO nature of the scheme, the consultation with community takes place during the trial rather than ahead of the scheme being implemented.

    The Council have engaged and been in communication with emergency services, TfL and Haringey before starting the trial.

    Residents and all interested stakeholders were able to provide their comments via the statutory consultation that is a key part of the process and is hosted on this page. There was also a further opportunity to provide comment in November 2021.

How the Scheme Works

    How will emergency vehicles access the area?

    In addition to the formal statutory consultation with emergency services, discussions have taken place, in particular with the London Ambulance Service to discuss their operational requirements. The London Ambulance Service very much welcome the changes on Warwick Road itself, which removes the previous physical emergency gate at the width restriction, and replaces this with a camera-controlled closure, which emergency vehicles can pass through unhindered. The emergency services are able to use both Warwick Road and Brownlow Road to pass through the area or to access side streets within the area.

    Will any of the roads be completely inaccessible?

    No. Vehicle access will be maintained to all roads within the area. Vehicle access may be limited to in/out of the same end of the road, but none of the roads will be completely closed to motor traffic, enabling access and deliveries to continue. 

    How will refuse trucks and other large vehicles such as delivery vans access the area?

    Deliveries / visitors to the area will use the same access points as residents. Refuse vehicles, as well as emergency vehicles, will have dispensation to be able to pass through camera enforced closures

    How do I access/exit the area if A406 is shut?

    In the rare event of the A406 being closed to traffic at the Warwick Road junction, the Council will suspend enforcement with the aim to avoid issuing PCNs during the period of the closure. Residents will then be able to use the camera closure point at the southern end of Warwick Road.

    However, if a fine is issued whilst the A406 is shut, please you could let us know and provide further details using this link (External link)

    The enforcement team will be able to check closures with Transport for London and rescind any penalties that are issued.

    To check if there are any road closures on A406 please visit (External link)

    Does a bus gate mean cars will not be able to use Brownlow Road?

    No. The road will still be open to private cars, but they will not be able to pass through the actual point where the bus gate is located. The position of this is yet to be determined. It could go at the north of Brownlow Road, meaning access would be from Bounds Green Road. It could be at the southern end of Brownlow Road meaning access from the A406, or it could be part way along, allowing access from either end. Further discussion is necessary with Haringey, Transport for London and residents will be able to provide their own views as part of the Phase 1 consultation.

Design and Layout of the Scheme

    What type of signage will be used at camera-enforced modal filters?

    The camera-enforced modal filters will make use of suitable signage as prescribed by the Traffic Signs Regulations and directed by the Traffic Signs Manual. This consists of:

    • ‘Motor vehicles prohibited’ signs

    • ‘Reminder to drivers that traffic enforcement cameras are in use’ signs

    What do the ‘motor vehicles prohibited’ signs indicate?

    As per the Highway Code, signs with red circles are mostly prohibitive. Specifically, the Highway Code mentions that “Red rings or circles tell you what you must not do, e.g. you must not exceed 30 mph, no vehicles over the height shown may proceed”. Therefore, the ‘motor vehicles prohibited’ signs indicate that motorised vehicles (including cars, vans, lorries, motorcycles, and mopeds) are not permitted to drive past them. Emergency services are exempt from this rule and are therefore permitted to drive past the ‘motor vehicles prohibited’ signs.

    Road users have an obligation to know and apply the rules contained in the Highway Code, which includes, among others, the signs that will be used for camera-enforced modal filters. Please refer to the Highway Code at the following link for more details:

    Why are ‘motor vehicles prohibited’ signs used instead of ‘no entry for vehicular traffic’ signs at camera-enforced modal filters? What is the difference?

    • ‘Motor vehicles prohibited’ signs

    • ‘No entry for vehicular traffic’ signs

    The purpose of the camera-enforced modal filters is to prevent drivers from travelling through them, whilst allowing emergency vehicle access.

    The ‘motor vehicles prohibited’ signs give effect to a Traffic Regulation Order that prohibits the use of a road by motor vehicles except for the emergency vehicles. On the contrary, the ‘no entry for vehicular traffic’ signs prohibit all vehicles, including emergency vehicles. This is in compliance with the legal requirements of The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, Schedule 3, Part 3, Paragraph 11.

    'No entry for vehicular traffic’ signs could for example be seen at entry points to one-way streets, where access to all vehicles, including emergency vehicles, would not be permitted. Hence this type of sign would not be appropriate for camera-enforced modal filters.

    Why have the filters been placed in their current locations?

    Engineers from Enfield Council have reviewed the road layout in the area and introduced what is believed to be the most optimal location of closure points to prevent any rat-running through the area.

    These types of schemes by nature limit access/egress points to the area in order to prevent vehicles cutting through the area.

    It is acknowledged that the introduction of this scheme will mean travelling to/from some directions will be hindered and some journeys when made by car may be longer. However, one of the aims of the scheme is to reduce the overall number of motor vehicle journeys through the area, leading to longer-term improvements in air quality and creating a safer environment for residents. 

Potential Impacts of the Scheme

    What measures will be put in place to alleviate the effects of any increased local traffic on the A406?

    A review of traffic on the A406 will form part of the monitoring, but one of the objectives of the scheme is to ensure that through traffic stays on main roads and does not use residential streets as a cut through. Monitoring will also take place on other surrounding roads including Bounds Green Road and Green Lanes, as well as other residential streets.

    Is this going to make things worse for Bowes Primary School?

    These proposals prevent traffic using Highworth Road as a cut through, which we think is positive for the school. It will only be residential traffic that will be entering the area, which should see an overall reduction in the amount of vehicles. We will need to make sure that we closely monitor the situation around the school as we would wish to improve the environment here not make it worse. Enfield Council are committed to improving the environment at schools across the Borough as evidenced by our School Streets project.

    What will happen to the volume of traffic?

    We anticipate the volume of traffic within the area to reduce as it will only be local traffic accessing or visiting the area. We will need to monitor the impact on surrounding roads. However, observations from similar schemes in other areas of London has shown that not all traffic reassigns onto local strategic roads with people changing their travel behaviour by:

    • Using alternative travel modes, such as walking or cycling for shorter trips;

    • Carrying out their journeys at quieter (off-peak) times of the day;

    • Choosing to combine trips, such as a trip to the shops on the way to, or from work;

    • For longer journeys, reassigning onto the wider strategic network, away from the local area;

    • Car sharing;

    • Choosing not to make the trip at all; or

    • Altering the allocation of tasks within a household to enable more efficient trip-making.

Haringey Co-ordination

    What is the difference between Enfield’s consultation on Bowes and Haringey’s early engagement on Bounds Green? How are Enfield and Haringey Councils working together?

    As the projects are in different stages, the consultation and engagement is different. 

    The Bowes LTN was implemented on a trial basis under an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO). Given the ETO nature of the scheme, and the funding constraints at the time of the Bowes implementation, the consultation with the community is taking place during the trial rather than ahead of the scheme being implemented. As the Bowes and Bounds Green areas are linked, Haringey now has funding to explore a complementary LTN in Bounds Green. 

    We have heard from both Enfield and Haringey residents throughout the Bowes consultation and Enfield and Haringey Councils are committed to working together. 

Scheme Background

    How is this project funded?

    This project is funded from the Department for Transport Emergency Active Travel fund with £100k allocated to Enfield. The DfT have stated that:

    “We expect all these measures to be delivered quickly using temporary materials, such as barriers and planters”.

    “If work has not started within four weeks of receiving your allocation under this tranche of funding, or has not been completed within eight weeks of starting, the Department will reserve the right to claw the funding back by adjusting downwards a future grant payment to your authority. This is also likely to have a material impact on your ability to secure any funding in tranche 2”.