Council to apply to take over parking enforcement

Telford & Wrekin Council is due to take its first steps towards taking control of tackling illegal parking while promising to retain its free car parks across the borough.

Council to apply to take over parking enforcement

The borough has been without police traffic wardens since 2009 and, although it is still currently for police to enforce on-street parking offences, they often don’t have the resources to do so.

The Council is looking to take over this role, known as Civil Parking Enforcement. It proposes a dedicated team to deal with on and off street issues such as illegal parking on pavements, on single and double yellow lines, school ‘keep clear’ signs and disabled and limited waiting bays. 

In order to be able to do this, the Council must apply to the Department of Transport for the transfer of enforcement powers from police. The application is due to be submitted by the end of this year. Before then, it must prepare a business case, the go-ahead for which is due to be given by the Council’s Cabinet when it meets on Thursday 31 May.

A consultation is then due to be held on Civil Parking Enforcement in September to explain the scheme and how it will work. The consultation will also ask the public on their key priorities and issues around illegal parking.

Assuming it passes the necessary legal hurdles, Civil Parking Enforcement could go live in Telford and Wrekin in the summer of 2019, part-funded for the first three years by a contribution of £200,000 from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.

Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for enforcement said: “Residents have told us of their frustrations that illegal and inconsiderate parking isn’t being policed properly and that’s why, with financial help from the Police and Crime Commissioner, we are making arrangements to take over it ourselves.

“This will not be a money-making exercise for the Council. Our free car parks will remain free of charge. We are committed keeping them free.

“We will not be adopting a culture of fining people. Our efforts will be on education and prevention first, targeting locations where the public tell us illegal problems are causing the most disruption so that we concentrate on the minority who continue to park illegally. The fines will help pay for the cost of running the scheme. 

“Should any money be made after the costs have been covered will be reinvested into highways and transport such as helping to improve residential car parking, or investing in sustainable transport including cycling, walking, electric vehicle charging and public transport.

“The decision cabinet is being asked to make will be the first step in a long and important process towards us having the right powers to tackle the issue of illegal parking.”

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