Improvements in sight as date agreed for plans to tackle Suffolk's parking problems
Councils in Suffolk are ramping up activity in order to take on responsibility for local parking management from 6 April 2020.
Parking patrols in Suffolk will soon be managed by district and borough councils, in a bid to improve parking locally and drive down nuisance and unlawful parking in towns and villages across Suffolk.
Traditionally, roadside parking offences were a matter for the police. However, parking has become a lower priority for them, so Suffolk County Council is transferring this responsibility to local district and borough councils under a process known as civil parking enforcement, or CPE.
Councils already manage public car parks in many towns and villages, so the changes make sense. Suffolk Constabulary is supportive of the move because the transfer of responsibilities will enable them to spend additional time on keeping communities safe and arresting and bringing offenders to justice.
Moving the responsibility from the police to local councils requires that statutory notice is given in Parliament. The parliamentary order will be laid until 30 January.
CPE has been running successfully in Ipswich since 2005; both Ipswich Borough Council and all the district councils have been working collaboratively with Police and Suffolk County Council in the planning stages to ensure a smooth implementation county-wide.
The change will bring many benefits, including:
- greater priority given to parking management locally, to help keep traffic moving
- district and borough councils empowered to make local decisions to suit local circumstances
- irresponsible and nuisance parking being enforced – supporting pedestrians, vulnerable road users, public transport services, drivers and emergency services to use the network more safely
- fines associated with parking will be retained in Suffolk to support the cost of enforcement. Any surplus can be spent on local transport and environmental improvements
- new jobs created county-wide to support parking management, patrols and enforcement
Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:
“Civil parking enforcement powers will soon sit with our district and borough councils across Suffolk. It is essential in enabling our communities to have closer management of their local parking challenges.
“A lot of residents come to us with concerns that people parking in their towns and villages are becoming more inconsiderate, and something needs to be done about it – we agree, and as a result are committed to seeing these parking issues managed locally to ensure fair and safe parking for all.
“I very much welcome the cross-council collaborative working in order to deliver better parking for the residents and those visiting Suffolk. Our colleagues will continue working together to ensure CPE is successfully launched and I look forward to seeing the benefits locally that these changes will bring.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said:
“I am absolutely delighted to see progress being made at last. There has been quite a delay in getting this sorted, so it is great to finally have a date for implementation.
“The council-run parking teams will, without doubt, provide more effective parking enforcement than the police because it will be their main focus – we have seen this in Ipswich where parking enforcement was decriminalised some years ago.
"Moving the responsibility for parking to local authorities will free up police time for them to deal with more urgent issues, which makes perfect sense and that is why I committed £190K from the Constabulary's reserves to help establish the scheme."