Civil Parking Enforcement

South Oxfordshire District Council – Cherwell District Council – Vale of White Horse District Council – Oxfordshire County Council

Councils working together to understand feasibility of progressing

Introduction

Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) is the decriminalisation of most on-street parking offences such as parking on a double yellow line meaning they are no longer considered a criminal offence.

By introducing Civil Parking Enforcement, the enforcement of these offences transfers from the Police to local authorities who employ Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) to patrol and issue fixed penalty notices.

While Oxford City (County Council service) and West Oxfordshire currently operate Civil Parking Enforcement for on-street parking, in the districts of Cherwell, South & Vale parking offences are still a police matter. Currently Thames Valley Police’s resources are understandably prioritised on matters other than parking enforcement. Such parking violations however are of significant frustration to local residents and businesses alike.

Therefore the County Council, Cherwell, Vale, and South Oxfordshire District Councils have therefore been working in partnership to explore the business case for implementing CPE within these areas.

There has been a long-term desire to create a common approach across Oxfordshire with regards to parking in order to enhance our ability to better manage traffic flows in our towns and villages.

What we have done so far

A cross-authority officer-led working group commissioned an initial feasibility study to consider different operating options available to the councils along with what initial and ongoing investment would be required.

The results of this work will be reviewed by the working group upon its imminent completion, and the group is expecting for initial review by senior officers and relevant members by April.

To enable CPE to be enforced across the county it is essential that signage is correct and road markings are of a sufficient standard. Oxfordshire County Council officers are currently carrying out condition survey samples in order to provide indicative costs to bring the markings up to an enforceable standard.

Programme

Below is an outline planned programme officers are working to.  It should be noted that applications for CPE are often grouped by the DfT and exact guidance will be sought to clarify when an application will be accepted. The DfT are advising the turnaround time on applications is currently 20 weeks.

Indicative time scales

February 2020 Completion of conditioning surveys including key villages
March 2020 Completion of feasibility studies assessing CPE
March 2020 – June 2020 Discussion and agreement on option to progress including formal sign off/approval by all councils concerned.
June 2020 – November 2020 Development of CPE bid including relevant consultations
November 2020 Submission of bid to DfT
December 2020 – June 2021 Assessed by DfT (Anticipated turnaround time c. 20 weeks)
June 2021 Tendering for CPE contracts
September 2021 Estimated go live