Civil parking enforcement comes to North Somerset
Drivers who park inconsiderately will face tougher consequences when North Somerset Council introduces civil parking enforcement (CPE) next month.
At the moment Avon and Somerset Police are responsible for enforcing most on-street parking restrictions in North Somerset but this will change from Monday 3 April when the council takes on the powers, following the authority’s successful application to the Department for Transport.
And from Monday (20 March), in preparation for introduction of CPE, the council’s civil enforcement officers (or CEOs) will begin placing blue warning notices on vehicles that are contravening parking restrictions. The warnings will advise which parking restriction has been contravened and that a penalty charge notice could be issued in the future if the vehicle is parked in the same way.
Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, deputy leader and executive member with responsibility for highways, said: “Bad parking can lead to congestion, prevent emergency vehicles from accessing areas or cause problems for local businesses when vehicles overstay their parking time outside shops.
“The council taking on CPE means there’ll be better enforcement of the traffic regulations that are already in place. This will lead to better parking in areas where there are restrictions as well as better turnover of parking spaces and improved safety for both pedestrians and road users, as people won’t be able to flout restrictions such as double yellows or zig-zag markings.”
Under CPE, the council will be able to enforce:
- double and single yellow lines
- blue badge bays
- limited waiting bays
- taxi ranks
- loading bays
- zig-zag markings at schools (if restrictions apply) and pedestrian crossings
- parking across dropped kerbs where there is a crossing point and tactile paving
- double parking or parking too far away from the kerb edge
- parking in bus stops.
This is all in addition to the off-street car parks and on-street pay and display parking that the council already looks after. The police will continue to be responsible for dealing with dangerously parked vehicles, obstruction and moving traffic offences.
Drivers who contravene parking restrictions will be issued with a penalty charge notice or PCN.
Cllr Ap Rees added: “Our team of 11 civil enforcement officers will work seven days a week across North Somerset and we’ll have extra officers on duty during busy, peak periods – for example during the summer months. They’ll issue parking charge notices to anyone who contravenes an on- or off-street parking restriction.
“Any money from charges will go towards running the scheme and if there’s any surplus this will go towards transport initiatives and road improvements, in line with DfT guidance.”
Under CPE there are two levels of charge – a higher and a lower depending on the type of contravention. The levels and the fine costs are set out by the secretary of state and a discount is available if the charge is paid within 14 days.
People will be able to pay PCNs online or by telephone. People will be able to appeal the charge if they believe it has been wrongly issued. Under CPE the keeper, or user of the vehicle if it’s hired, is responsible for paying the PCN.
More information about CPE is available at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/cpe.