New Regulations will make for fairer parking

On 31 March 2008 new regulations will be introduced in England and Wales that should provide motorists with a fairer and more transparent parking enforcement service across the country, helping raise industry standards in parking.  These regulations will be the first nationwide changes to on-street parking since 1993. 

What is presently called Decriminalised Parking Enforcement will be referred to as Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) and, Winchester’s Parking Attendants will become Civil Enforcement Officers.

The new Regulations will require CPE to be more transparent, simple and proportional to motorists, and Local Authorities will have to make clear that enforcement is based on compliance with local parking regulations and not the number of tickets issued.

Enforcement will also be "proportional" to the contravention's seriousness, with new regulations providing for differential charges. Higher penalties will apply for such matters as parking on a double yellow line and a lesser charge for overstaying on a meter.

Winchester has decided along with most other authorities, to adopt a penalty level of £70 for more serious contraventions such as parking on a yellow line or in a disabled parking bay and £50 for less serious contraventions, both levels of penalty will be discounted by 50% if settled in the prescribed time limits.

In some cases, penalties may be issued by post to drivers who either prevent a CEO from issuing a penalty by acting aggressively or by driving away after a certain stage has been reached in the process of serving a notice.

Cllr Keith Wood, Portfolio Holder for Traffic and Transport said, "The new process is good news. We will now see lower penalty charges for less serious contraventions making the system fairer for motorists.”

Keith Banbury, Chief Executive of the British Parking Association said, “Everyone hates congestion and delays to journeys and effective parking management and enforcement is there to help improve traffic flow and ensure the roads are safer for all road users, including motorists and pedestrians. We live in a country with 32 million cars and need to manage parking fairly for all. These new regulations aim to do just that.”

Councils will have to be more transparent about their parking management policies, undertake regular reviews of policies through consultation with stakeholders and communicate these policies effectively to the public.  They are also encouraged to provide training for everyone involved in parking management and enforcement.

Additional powers are being given to independent adjudicators. They will be able to refer cases back to the chief executives of Local Authorities’ where a parking contravention has taken place in mitigating circumstances and can ask the Local Authority to consider cancelling the penalty charge.