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Commercial Wharf

Commercial Wharf on the Plymouth Waterfront is a popular area with food and beverage establishments with outdoor seating. Due to the high number of pedestrians, vehicle access is controlled to ensure the safety of everyone in the area.

A valid permit is needed for any vehicle accessing Commercial Wharf. Permits are provided to support business activities that require vehicle use. Parking on the Wharf is not allowed.

Vehicles will be subject to enforcement if: 

  • it has no valid permit 
  • the vehicle is not complying the terms and conditions of use 

Once the permit is activated you will given access through the gated access. If you are delivering to a business on Commercial Wharf they can give you access. 


Each permit costs £33 a year. 


Your permit will not be activated until: 

  • you have provided your public liability insurance (minimum of £5,000,000) 
  • your reason for access has been approved  

You cannot access the Wharf until you receive a permit activation email. Commercial Wharf permits are virtual so there is nothing to display. Officers have handhelds to check a vehicle has a valid permit. 


Permit holders are responsible for having a valid permit. You can renew your Commercial Wharf permit up to 2 months before it expires. You'll need your permit number and PIN. Your permit will be instantly renewed starting when your previous permit expires when: 

  • you have paid 
  • you have accepted the terms and conditions 

Change of vehicle registration 

If you change your vehicle registration, you must update your permit. You'll need your permit number and PIN. Allow two working days for your request to be processed. You cannot access the Wharf until you receive a permit activation email advising the change has taken affect.

Terms and conditions 

  • Public liability insurance (minimum of £5,000,000) must be in place to cover any vehicle entering the pedestrian zone.
  • The access gate must be closed and locked after accessing or leaving Commercial Wharf.
  • Any lost keys must be immediately reported to the Council and there will be a charge of £10 for replacement.
  • Vehicles should only access Commercial Wharf when pedestrian footfall is at its lowest.

  • Vehicles driven on Commercial Wharf must be driven slowly, not exceeding 10mph and with due care and consideration of the pedestrian who have right of way. Look out for children who may behave unpredictably. 
  • The Commercial Wharf permit is valid only for the purpose of loading and unloading bulky and heavy goods to the premises on Commercial Wharf providing the activity is continuous. 
  • The vehicle can only stop for the time necessary to carry out the act of loading or unloading. 
  • The loading or unloading should be completed as quickly as possible and the vehicle moved immediately after finishing. 
  • If loading or unloading activity is not seen, the vehicle will be considered waiting and may result in a Penalty Charge Notice being issued. 
  • The vehicle should not be left where it would cause an obstruction or danger to pedestrians or other vulnerable users.  
  • The vehicle must not exceed 1525 kg unladen weight and always be roadworthy with valid road tax, insurance and MOT.
  • Plymouth City Council cannot guarantee access will always be available to Commercial Wharf. 
  • The Commercial Wharf permits remain the property of the council at all times, are non-transferable, not refundable and not for resale. 
  • For the purpose of audit a permit holder may be asked to produce documentary evidence at a later date to demonstrate their eligibility. 
  • Plymouth City Council will process all information in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The authority will use any data collected for the purpose of processing and validating the relevant permit and other associated purposes. We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share/check this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud. These bodies include other council departments, other public authorities and other enforcement agencies.