Parking regulations and enforcement

Information on illegal and obstructive parking, how to report it and how to apply for new parking restrictions.

Parking regulations (for example yellow lines and parking bays) exist to control where vehicles are permitted to park.

They are an effective means to help address the safety of road users and to tackle congestion. In some locations, such as near town centres, the demand to park exceeds the space available. Parking restrictions can also allocate parts of the road for different types of parking, eg limited waiting bays for shoppers, resident parking bays and disabled parking bays.

All drivers should be familiar with The Highway Code. Another useful publication produced by the Department for Transport is Know your traffic signs.

The main purpose of on street parking enforcement is to maintain road user safety and prevent congestion, by tackling drivers who park on yellow lines and in other restricted areas. It also helps to balance parking demand, by ensuring that drivers remove their vehicles from parking bays within the permitted time.

East Suffolk, Ipswich Borough and West Suffolk Councils are responsible for enforcement in their own areas. Enforcement in Babergh and Mid Suffolk are managed by Ipswich Borough and West Suffolk Council. The enforcement areas can be seen on Suffolk County Council's parking enforcement map.

More information can be found on the below links:

East Suffolk, Ipswich Borough and West Suffolk councils employ civil enforcement officers (CEOs) who patrol streets where parking regulations apply, as well as the public off-street car parks. They check whether cars are parked appropriately and issue penalty charge notices (PCNs) to vehicles parked illegally. However, CEOs do not just issue PCNs, they are also customer focused and can give directions and advice on where to park.

The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) have been compiled to help answer any questions you may have around Civil Parking Enforcement. 

Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) FAQ (PDF, 84KB)

If you are paying a penalty charge notice (PCN) please visit I have received a PCN.

If you have any other things you would like to raise about a PCN for example how to challenge a penalty charge you have received, please check the reverse of the PCN to see who to contact.

Suffolk Police retain responsibility for dangerous or obstructive parking where there are no parking restrictions.

Suffolk Police focuses its resources based on an assessment of threat, harm and risk.  For this reason, dealing with parking offences is a lower priority and complaints of illegal parking will not automatically result in police attending them. However, they would allocate a unit in a situation where there is a clear offence that poses a risk to public safety. Where there is an issue with a particular location which is causing community concern, the Safer Neighbourhoods team will deal with it appropriately.

Further information