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London Borough of Bromley

Annual Parking
Report

1st April 2008 – 31st March 2009

1st April 2008 – 31st March 2009


CONTENTS

Subject Page No.

1 Introduction 4

2 Background to parking in the London Borough of Bromley 5

3 Overview of parking provision and strategy 6


1. Principles of Parking – provision 6
2. Off-street parking 6
3. Park Mark®, the Safer Parking Award 7

4 The services we provide 8


1. Parking permits 8
2. The Blue Badge Scheme 9
3. Blue Badge fraud 9
4. Dispensations and suspensions 10
5. Parking enforcement 11
6. Enforcement requests 11
7. School Crossing Patrols 11
8. Who provides the services? 12

5 Complaints and Freedom of Information requests 13


1. Complaints 13
2. Freedom of Information requests 14

6 Recent changes and planned new developments/partnerships 15


1. The Smart car (mobile CCTV unit) 15
2. The new Smart car 15
3. Head cams 15
4. Mobile phone parking 16
5. Card payments in car parks 16
6. Back office computer system (Civica) upgrade 16

7 Statistical performance and information regarding


Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued 18
1. Differential parking penalties 19
2. On and off-street breakdown of PCNs issued 19

8 Appeals received 20
1. Challenges and representations received 20
2. Waivers, write-offs and cancellations 20
3. The Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) 21
4. Debt recovery and bailiff action 22
5. PCN summary 22

9 Financial information 23
1. Parking income and expenditure 23
2. Parking place reserve account 24

10 Summary 25

1
LIST OF TABLES

Page No.
TABLES

1 Residents’ permits – total numbers issued between 1st April 2008 8


and 31st March 2009, per parking zone

2 Business permits – total numbers issued between 1st April 2008 9


and 31st March 2009, per parking zone

3 Visitors’ Vouchers – total numbers issued between 1st April 2008 9


and 31st March 2009

4 Complaints – number of complaints, number of days to respond 13


and average response time

5 Freedom of Information – number of requests, number of days to 14


respond and average response time

6 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) – breakdown of numbers and 18


percentages of PCNs according to the method of issue and total
numbers issued between 1st April 2006 and 31st March 2009

7 Challenges and representations received – total numbers and 20


percentages between 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2009

8 PCNs waived, written-off and cancelled – total numbers and 21


percentages between 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2009

9 Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS): appeals received; 22


Statutory Declarations received; total completed; appeals allowed,
of which not contested; appeals refused, of which withdrawn
between 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2009

10 Parking Place Reserve Account – actual expenditure and income 24


for the year ending 31st March 2009

2
LIST OF CHARTS AND GRAPHS

Page No.
TABLES

Charts

1 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) – breakdown of PCNs according to 18


the method of issue and total numbers issued between 1st April
2008 and 31st March 2009

Graphs

1 Complaints – number of complaints, number of days to respond and 13


average response time

2 Freedom of information – number of requests, number of days to 14


respond and average response time

APPENDICES

Page No.
TABLES

1 Glossary of terms 1

2 Freedom of Information requests 4

3 Off-street (car parks) parking capacities, including disabled bays 6


and Park Mark® awards

4 On-street parking facilities, including disabled bays 7

5 On-street bays throughout the Borough for disabled Blue Badge 10


holders only, broken down by hours of restriction

6 PCN statistics 2008/2009 11

3
1 INTRODUCTION

This is our second Annual Parking Report for the period 1st April 2008 to 31st
March 2009. We know many found our first report useful and we have therefore
tried to provide more detailed information about our achievements over the last
year and our plans for the coming year.

Our plans include many ICT improvements that we are sure will help provide a
more efficient service, particularly through the use of the web and Geographical
Positioning System (GPS) technology for use by Civil Enforcement Officers. This
will result in our ability to enhance our processes for the following services:

• enforcement requests;
• on-line challenges; and
• providing motorists with more information about their parking tickets.

We have included a section on ‘Freedom of Information’ and provided an appendix


that gives our responses to some of the requests we received last year. These
were obviously issues that stakeholders were interested in, so hopefully you will
also find them interesting and at least, they may serve to answer some of your
questions.

Finally we have included statistics from previous years in addition to those for the
last financial year to demonstrate how trends in parking have changed over the
years.

Again we are actively looking to improve, so if you have any ideas on how we can
communicate our service to you in a more effective way, please contact us.

Parking Customer and Communications Officer


Parking Services
Civic Centre
Rochester Wing R75
Bromley
Kent Ben Stephens
BR1 3UH Head of Parking Services

For your information, a Glossary of Terms that explains some words and phrases
has been added to this report as Appendix 1.

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2 BACKGROUND TO PARKING IN THE LONDON BOROUGH
OF BROMLEY
IST OLE
Bromley is situated in South East London - flanked by the London Boroughs of Croydon,
Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth, Greenwich and Bexley. It also has borders with
Tandridge (Surrey) and Sevenoaks (Kent). Geographically it is the largest of the London
Boroughs; its major centres of population are Bromley, Orpington, Beckenham, Penge,
West Wickham, Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Biggin Hill. It is of an urban nature to the
North and approximately half its area (mainly in the South and East) is rural and green
belt.

The Borough has a population of almost 300,000. The area of the Borough is
approximately 58 square miles; there are 3,500 streets comprising of 550 miles of
highway (60 miles of which is yellow lined). The main Controlled Parking Zone is in
Bromley Town Centre spanning an area of 1.78 square miles and consisting of an inner
and an outer zone. There are 257 streets that have an area within this zone. Controlled
Parking Zones also operate in Beckenham, Orpington, Farnborough Village, Chatterton
Village, Petts Wood, the Copers Cope Road area and the Burnt Ash Lane area of
Bromley. There are also:

ƒ 2,117 on-street pay and display bays serviced by 241 pay and display machines;
ƒ 4 multi-storey car parks (MSCPs) operated by the London Borough of Bromley,
providing a total of 2,423 parking spaces;
ƒ 30 surface car parks (4 of which are currently free, 1 disabled only and 1 permit
holders only);
ƒ 2 commercial vehicle parks; and
ƒ 1 coach park.

Two arterial designated Red Routes run through the Borough (the A21 and A232) and a
short section of the A20 clips its Northeast boundary. There are good transport links to
Central London, which is approximately 9 miles from Bromley.

The main shopping areas are Bromley and Orpington Town Centres with approximately
90,000 and 25,000 daily shoppers, respectively. Other significant shopping areas are in
Beckenham, Penge and West Wickham.

In October 1993, the control and enforcement of all on-street parking throughout the
Borough (except for the designated red routes) was taken over by the London Borough
of Bromley. The Police were responsible for control and enforcement before this date.
Enforcement was carried out under the 1991 Road Traffic Act until 31st March 2008,
when it was replaced by the Traffic Management Act 2004.

In October 2003, we began using closed circuit television (CCTV) as a parking


enforcement tool to issue penalties to motorists for the contravention of ‘being in a bus
lane’. Currently 10 dedicated bus lane enforcement cameras are used to enforce 7 bus
lanes within the Borough. These cameras and other networked cameras have been
used since November 2005 to enforce parking restrictions in congested areas. The
aim is to prevent vehicles causing traffic hazards and delays and jeopardising the
safety of pedestrians. The experience of using CCTV alongside traditional
enforcement methods has proved to be an excellent operational tool that complements
traditional methods.

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3 OVERVIEW OF PARKING PROVISION AND STRATEGY

We provide public parking facilities to assist with traffic management and environmental
improvements. The on-street facilities (typically those located by the kerbside) and off-
street facilities (within our car parks) are distributed throughout the Borough. The facilities
are paid for completely by the users. Maximum length of stay restrictions are generally
structured to promote short-term parking and high turnover of spaces in town centres, but
a degree of long-term parking is permitted in the outer areas and our car parks to meet the
needs of different motorists, such as commuters.

There are currently 314 pay and display machines located in various roads and car parks
throughout the Borough. These have been provided by the company Parkeon and are
solar powered, therefore they do not need an electrical source in order to operate.
Payment to these machines can only be made by coins (5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2) and
payment is pre-paid.

‘Pay on foot’ is the term used for the method of payment in our three multi-storey car parks
in Bromley town centre. The machines have been provided by the company Alfia Limited.
Payment to these machines can be made by coins (5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2) or by
£5, £10 and £20 currency notes and payment is made on exit. Payment may now also be
made by debit/credit card in the Civic Centre Multi-storey Car Park and The Hill Multi-
Storey Car Park.

1. Principles of Parking - provision


The structured use of car parking controls is an essential tool in helping to
balance competing demands for road space, restraining non-essential traffic, and
in encouraging a shift towards more sustainable modes of travel.

The Council’s reasons for introducing and enforcing on-street waiting and
loading restrictions are:

• to improve the safety of road users;


• to assist the smooth flow of traffic and reduce traffic congestion;
• to assist and improve bus movement;
• to assist in providing a choice of travel mode;
• to ensure effective loading/unloading for local businesses;
• to provide a turnover of available parking spaces in areas of high demand;
• to assist users with special requirements, such as disabled drivers; and
• to promote and enhance the health of the local economy.

2. Off-street parking

Off-street car parking also contributes to many of these objectives, particularly


where it is co-ordinated with on-street provision, for example by offering longer
stays than it is possible to offer on-street, and also by providing capacity which
is not available at the kerbside. In general, motorists tend to prefer on-street to
off-street parking due to perceptions of convenience and security. Appendix 3
gives details of the off-street capacities and on-street parking facilities within the
Borough.

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3. Park Mark®, the Safer Parking Award

Park Mark® is an initiative of the Association of Chief Police


Officers (ACPO) designed to reduce crime and the fear of
crime within parking facilities. The Safer Parking Award
Scheme is managed by the British Parking Association through
Development Managers and supported by the Home Office, the
Scottish Executive and all the Police Forces in England,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The primary aim of the scheme is to prevent criminal behaviour within the
parking environment. Owners/operators of a parking facility are therefore
required to adopt an active management strategy to ensure minimal occurrence
of crime.

After assessment, the Police can award Park Mark® status to parking facilities
that are properly managed and maintained. These facilities will also have
achieved appropriate standards that contribute to reducing the opportunity for
crime, as follows:

• surveillance;
• lighting;
• signage;
• cleanliness.

Currently, 21 of the 32 public car parks that we own and maintain have been
awarded Park Mark®. The on-street parking facility in Crofton Road,
Locksbottom has also received this award. Since the date of this report in May
2009, another 4 car parks received awards, bringing the total to 25. Appendix 3
gives details of all car parks that have been awarded Park Mark®.

If you have any ideas or suggestions on how we can further improve our car
parks, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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4 THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE

Parking Services are contacted throughout the year by motorists and the general public
on a wide range of subjects and concerns. This results in a very busy but interesting
section. The range of services we provide includes the provision of parking facilities,
enforcement of parking restrictions, dealing with appeals and requests for enforcement
and the issue of residents’ parking permits, business permits, visitors’ vouchers, blue
badges, dispensations and suspensions.

1. Parking permits

The permit areas within the London Borough of Bromley and the types of
permits we issue are shown in Tables 1, 2 and 3. These permit areas have
been introduced to ensure that there is a balance between the need for
residents to be able to park near their homes and the needs of other motorists.
Some of these areas have been further divided to allow greater control.

The Bromley town centre Controlled Parking Zone was introduced in 1999 with
others being implemented over the following years.

There are three types of permit that allow motorists to park in areas/bays where
controlled parking schemes apply, these are: residents’ permits, business
permits and visitors’ vouchers.

Our Permit Section processes permit and visitors’ voucher applications. Table
1 shows the total numbers of permits and visitors’ voucher books issued for
each area between 1st April 2008 and 31st March 2009.

Table 1 Residents’ permits


Parking area Parking zone Year Permit cost Total issued
introduced £
Bromley Central A 1998 55.00 232
Bromley North B 1998 35.00 1644
Bromley South C 1998 35.00 2660
Ledrington Road D 2003 50.00 0
Locksbottom E 2003 65.00 22
Beckenham F 2006 70.00 51
Farnborough FV 2009 50.00 N/A*
Village
Burnt Ash Lane G 2004 35.00 3
Orpington H 2004 35.00 46
Orpington I 2004 65.00 35
Burnt Ash Lane J 2004 35.00 69
North
Orpington K (Zones 1 -4) 2006 50.00 5
Camden Grove N 2009 55.00 N/A*
Copers Cope R 2009 75.00 N/A*
Petts Wood S 2009 75.00 N/A*
Chatterton Village W 2009 35.00 N/A*

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Table 2 shows the total numbers of business permits issued for each area
between 1st April 2008 and 31st March 2009.

Table 2 Business Permits


Parking area Parking zone Year Permit cost Total issued
introduced £
Bromley B/C 2001 85.00 271
(Business)
Locksbottom LB 2003 210.00 10
(Business)
Chatterton Village W 2009 85.00 N/A*
(Business)
* These permit schemes only came into operation after April 2009, therefore no permits were
issued for the period of this report.

Table 3 shows the total numbers of visitors’ vouchers issued between 1st April
2008 and 31st March 2009

Table 3 Visitors’ Vouchers


Parking area Parking zone Year Permit cost Total issued
introduced £
Visitors’ Vouchers
All Zones ** 1998 30.00 1,867
(books of 15)
Visitors’ Vouchers
941
(Pensioners) All Zones ** 1998 free
** Residents in zone A can buy visitors’ vouchers only for zones B and C

2. The Blue Badge Scheme

This is a national arrangement of parking concessions for people


with severe walking difficulties who travel as drivers or
passengers. The scheme allows badge holders to park close to
their destination but the national concessions apply to on-street
parking only.

A dedicated team of staff based in our Customers Service Section are


responsible for the receipt and processing of all Blue Badge applications. They
use Department for Transport guidelines to make decisions on eligibility to join
the scheme and issue approximately 3,000 Blue Badges per year. For further
information, contact our Blue Badge Team on 020 8461 7629.

In order to meet the needs of Blue Badge holders, a number of disabled bays
are located throughout the Borough. Appendix 4 shows the number of disabled
bays in busy locations that also have pay and display bays within the vicinity,
such as a small shopping parade, or a high street.

3. Blue Badge fraud

At London Council’s Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) meeting in


February 2009, it was voted to expand the Lost, Stolen and Fraudulent Blue
Badge Database (LSF Database) to all 33 London Boroughs. The database
enables all Boroughs to share information. The data recorded can be used to
highlight Blue Badge scheme abuse.

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In conjunction with this database, in March 2009, we launched a pilot scheme in
the Civic Centre Multi-storey Car Park to identify and prevent Blue Badge fraud.
Kiosk Attendants are now scanning the side of the badge that has details of the
serial number and expiry date each time the holder visits the car park. This
enables us to detect and act upon fraudulent use of a badge that has been lost
or stolen between visits to the car park. It also acts as a deterrent to any
persons potentially using a badge fraudulently.

If you are suspicious that a Blue Badge is being used fraudulently, or have
cause for concern, please contact us on 020 8461 7702.

4. Dispensations and suspensions

A parking dispensation allows a commercial vehicle to park on a waiting


restriction (yellow line) during restricted hours in circumstances where the
vehicle needs to be close to a specific location. For example, for carrying out
works that require the driver to park close to a building or site where continuous
access is required to load or unload goods or materials.

Between 1st April 2008 and 31st March 2009, we issued a total of 175 parking
dispensations. During this period, our charge for the issue of a dispensation
was £12.50 per vehicle per week.

A parking suspension allows a motorist to park for a specific purpose in a pay


and display or meter bay during restricted hours. For example, for carrying out
works that require the driver to park close to a building or site where continuous
access is required to load or unload goods or materials.

We will also issue a suspension for the placing of a skip provided that a licence
has previously been obtained from the London Borough of Bromley (a skip
licence can be obtained from Street Services by telephoning 020 8313
4545/4621).

When we issue a suspension, we will place signs at the location to clearly


indicate to other motorists that the bay has been temporarily removed from
service.

Between 1st April 2008 and 31st March 2009, we issued a total of 44 parking
suspensions. During this period, our charge for the issue of a suspension was
£25.00 per bay per week.

Charges are waived for applications in connection with funerals, blood


transfusion, public health screening and domestic removals. In these
circumstances, permission to park must be requested at least 48 hours in
advance and will be subject to assessment to ensure that a parked vehicle will
not cause an obstruction/hazard.

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5. Parking enforcement

To ensure professional and adequate enforcement


takes place throughout the Borough, an average of
23 Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) are deployed
per day by our parking enforcement contractor,
Vinci Park. The hours of enforcement are primarily
between 8.30am and 6.30pm when most
restrictions apply. However, enforcement at other
times is also undertaken to ensure a
comprehensive service is provided. CEOs use up
to date technology to issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) and record
photographic images of contraventions. Each CEO is checked through the
Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and is required to pass a rigorous training
schedule prior to undertaking enforcement duties.

6. Enforcement requests

We received approximately 1,200 requests for enforcement at specific locations


in the Borough from the general public (approximately 5 per day) between 1st
April 2008 and 31st March 2009. We passed these details to Vinci Park and
arrangements were made for a Civil Enforcement Officer or one of our mobile
CCTV units to visit the location. We are pleased to be able to provide this
service and endeavour to respond to requests as quickly as possible, normally
the same day. If not, certainly by the next day. If there is an ongoing problem,
the feasibility of more regular enforcement may be investigated. More proactive
services are planned for 2009/10.

If you would like to request enforcement in a specific area, please contact us on


020 8461 7702.

7. School Crossing Patrols


The School Crossing Patrol Service was first
introduced in the 1950s. The service for the whole
of London was run by the Metropolitan Police
Service until April 2000, when it was handed over
to Local Authorities. The law gives Local
Authorities the power to provide patrols, although
they do not have to do so. However in Bromley,
we see it as an important public service and part
of our efforts to reduce casualties. There are 47 primary school sites in the
London Borough of Bromley where School Crossing Patrols are in place
primarily to help children, their families and carers, cross the road safely on
their way to and from school. When a patrol displays their stop sign, motorists
must stop. If they do not, they are breaking the law. They can face a £1,000 fine
and 3 penalty points on their licence, or disqualification. Patrols are allowed to
stop traffic for anyone wishing to cross the road, as long as they are operating
at their approved site and within their authorised hours of duty.

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In addition to patrols already in operation across the Borough, there are plans
to implement another three patrols this year at Bromley Road for Bishop
Challoner School, South Eden Park Road for Unicorn Primary School and
Queen Anne Avenue for St Marks CE Primary School.

8. Who provides the services?

Our services are provided by the Parking Team, which currently consists of the
following dedicated permanent members of staff:

• Head of Parking;
• Operations Manager;
• CCTV and Contract Manager;
• Processing and Representations Manager;
• Parking ICT Manager and Project Co-ordinator;
• CCTV Enforcement Supervisor;
• 2 CCTV Enforcement Officers;
• Customer and Communications Officer;
• Parking Inspector;
• 1 Senior Parking Officer;
• Appeals Officer (the main contact for cases referred to the Parking and
Traffic Appeals Service);
• Bailiff and Debt Recovery Officer;
• 7 Parking Officers (dealing with appeals and administration and
temporary contract/agency staff employed from time to time as required).

The number of staff may change from time to time to meet the needs of the
service.

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5 COMPLAINTS AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS

1. Complaints

A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction about a service


received. This is very different from being unhappy about receiving a Penalty
Charge Notice, or disagreeing with our decision following a challenge or
representation.

In Parking Services, we try to resolve complaints as promptly and


comprehensively as possible. Last year we dealt with a total of 287 complaints
with an average response time of 6.1 days.

You will notice from Table 4 and Graph 1 that the amount of complaints received
has risen over the last couple of years. This is because we now actively look for
complaints or examples of poor service that may be hidden within an appeal,
rather than just separate those letters with the heading ‘formal complaint’. We
are pleased however that our response time has reduced.

We take complaints very seriously and from them we gain an insight into the real
issues, problems and concerns motorists face with the service they have
received. The Council has a formal complaints procedure, known as ‘Getting it
Right’. More information on this procedure can be found on our website:
www.bromley.gov.uk
Table 4

Number of Total days to Average response


complaints respond time (days)
01/04/06 – 31/03/07 110 880 8.0
01/04/07 – 31/03/08 190 1692 8.9
01/04/08 – 31/03/09 287 1745 6.1

Graph 1

Number of complaints and response time

45

40
Number of complaints
Number of days/complaints

35
Response times in working days (includes
30 date of receipt and reply)

25

20

15

10

0
Apr-06
May-06
Jun-06
Jul-06
Aug-06
Sep-06
Oct-06
Nov-06
Dec-06
Jan-07
Feb-07
Mar-07
Apr-07
May-07
Jun-07
Jul-07
Aug-07
Sep-07
Oct-07
Nov-07
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Jan-08
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Apr-08
May-08
Jun-08
Jul-08
Aug-08
Sep-08
Oct-08
Nov-08
Dec-08
Jan-09
Feb-09
Mar-09

Date

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2. Freedom of Information requests

Over the last few years, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 has been
used more and more to obtain information about parking related matters. We are
always happy to provide information about our services, whether or not we have
received a request under this act.

Last year we received 61 requests for information under the FOI Act and this
year, 1st April 2009 to 31st March 2010, this figure will be far exceeded. We have
a duty to reply within 20 working days of each request. However, if a request
requires work that exceeds the appropriate limit specified in regulations (set at
£450 for local government), which represents the estimated cost of one person
spending 2½ working days in determining whether the Council holds the
information, locating, retrieving and extracting it, we may have to charge. Under
section 12 of the FOI Act, the Council is not obliged to comply with any request
that is equal to or above the £450 limit. However in such circumstances, through
further communication to streamline the request, we are usually able to respond.

Many of the requests we received during the last financial year involved numbers
of PCNs, including how many were issued, where and when, as well as how
many were cancelled. We have therefore included the PCN statistics that have
previously been requested in this report. Appendix 2 gives details of typical
requests we received along with our responses, which we believe will be helpful
to motorists and the general public. Table 5 and Graph 2 show the number of
requests we received, the number of days taken to respond and the average
response time between 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2009.
Table 5

Average
Number of FOI Total days to response time
requests respond (days)
01/04/07 – 31/03/08 25 299 12.0
01/04/08 – 31/03/09 61 617 10.1

Graph 2

Freedom of Information requests and response time

30
Number of days/FOI requests

25

20 Average no. of days to respond


No. of FOI per month
15

10

0
De 0 7

De 0 8
Ju 7

Fe 0 8

Ju 8

Fe 0 9
M 08
Ap 08

M 09
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Au 8
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O 07

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O 08

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ar
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ay
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Ap

Date

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6 RECENT CHANGES AND PLANNED NEW
DEVELOPMENTS/PARTNERSHIPS

1. The Smart car (mobile CCTV unit)

In October 2007, enforcement trials began using a


specially adapted Smart car fitted with CCTV
recording equipment. The primary aim was to
alleviate the problems caused by vehicles parking
incorrectly outside schools in the Borough. The
trials proved successful and as a result, this
method of enforcement was fully operational
in April 2008 to complement more traditional
methods of enforcement, i.e. fixed CCTV cameras and Civil Enforcement
Officers. The yellow zig-zag lines are placed outside school entrances to
prevent potentially fatal accidents by ensuring approaching drivers can see
children entering or leaving the school and children can see approaching
vehicles. This method of enforcement discourages drivers from parking
dangerously and compromising the safety of children and pedestrians. When
the Smart car is not enforcing outside schools, it is utilised at other locations
throughout the Borough enforcing pedestrian zig-zags, bus stops and other
parking contraventions.

2. The new Smart car

Due to increasing demand for enforcement using


the mobile CCTV unit, we considered the feasibility
of acquiring another Smart car – this was
purchased, equipped and implemented in April
2009. The new vehicle is fitted with Automatic
Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology and
has an air-operated telescopic mast that can be
raised or lowered from within the vehicle. When
fully extended, the mast positions the camera approximately 12ft above street
level enabling the operator to record contraventions from a considerable
distance. The primary use of this vehicle is to alleviate the problems caused by
vehicles parking incorrectly outside schools. However, it will also be utilised at
locations throughout the Borough to enforce other parking restrictions. The
ANPR technology will enable the operator to immediately recognise vehicles
parked in residents’ permit bays without a valid permit.

3. Head cams

Head cams are body worn video devices that can


be attached to headwear or epaulettes (the
shoulder-piece of an officer’s uniform). After
successful trials, these devices are now being
utilised by Civil Enforcement Officers to record the
details of parking contraventions. Head cams
complement more traditional methods of recording
details, such as pocket book notes and

15
photographs. The footage has proven to be a very useful tool in establishing
training requirements for Civil Enforcement Officers, which in turn has improved
communication with motorists and the general public. The footage provides us
with more details of a parking contravention and we are therefore better
prepared to assure fairness, transparency and accountability in the appeal
process and in dealing with complaints. The footage can also be used to
provide evidence of physical assaults and verbal abuse to officers.

4. Mobile phone parking

The trials using mobile phone technology to help with the changes to the
parking provision in Orpington are coming to an end.

A total of 23,197 mobile phone parking transactions were recorded for the
period 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009 with an average transaction cost of
£1.49.

In the very near future, we will be inviting tenders to select a suitably


experienced specialist supplier of mobile phone parking services to roll out the
concept to all areas of the Borough. This will include on-street locations by the
kerbside and off-street locations within our car parks.

Paying for parking using a mobile phone has many benefits, including:
ƒ no need to find coins;
ƒ helping to avoid parking fines due to lost or badly displayed tickets;
ƒ helping to avoid parking fines whereby the motorist receives a text message
indicating when their time is due to expire (charges apply);
ƒ reducing the need for more pay and display machines thereby reducing
clutter and the potential for vandalism;
ƒ parking charges by the minute so motorists do not need to guess the
predicted length of stay.

To register with Parkmobile, our electronic parking provider, a simple


registration process must be completed online at www.parkmobile.co.uk or by
telephone on 0870 730 5005.

5. Card payments in car parks

We have recently upgraded a number of payment machines within the Civic


Centre and The Hill Multi-Storey Car Parks. The new machines, which have
built in payment facilities allowing motorists to pay by debit/credit card, have
been in operation since April 2009.

6. Back office computer system (Civica) upgrade

This financial year, we intend to upgrade our back office computer system. The
new system with Civica, the company that provides our current system, will allow
us to make a number of improvements to our operation, as well as being
considerably easier to use on a day to day basis.

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The key improvements are:

• on-line evidence – this module will allow motorists who have received a
PCN to view photographic evidence taken at the time of the alleged
contravention;

• on-line appeal – this module will allow motorists who have received a PCN
to appeal against it on-line with no need to find a stamp or a post box. The
system will also allow them to add attachments, such as j-peg images,
which will be received by the back office within seconds;

• General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) – this system will allow the transfer
of data from Civil Enforcement Officers on-street direct to our back office
system in ‘real time’. The transferable data will include contravention
codes, PCN numbers, locations, dates and times. A key benefit of the
information imparted using this system is our ability to answer any
questions or concerns from motorists within minutes of the issue of a PCN.

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7 STATISTICAL PERFORMANCE AND INFORMATION REGARDING
PENALTY CHARGE NOTICES (PCNs) ISSUED

Most people associate ‘parking tickets’ and the appeal process with Parking Services - it
certainly evokes strong feeling. Specialist software is used to process appeals and
technology is used to issue PCNs. We aim to be responsive and provide ample
information to assist motorists with their appeals, which we acknowledge can sometimes
be stressful and frustrating.

We have made and continue to make changes, so that the experience of making an
appeal is clearer and less stressful. These changes include:

• speedy replies - nearly all responses to appeals are sent out within 2 weeks;
• better use of plain English;
• less jargon;
• more information on the web and on the PCN itself;
• proposed on-line evidence and on-line appeals (as previously mentioned).

We are always looking to improve further, so if you have any suggestions or ideas,
please do not hesitate to contact us.

Table 6 gives a breakdown of PCNs according to the method of issue and shows the
total numbers and percentages issued between 1st April 2006 and 31st March 2009 (the
figures for the period 1st April 2006 to 31st March 2008 are for information and
comparison). Chart 1 shows how the number of PCNs issued has been broken down
according to the method of issue for the period 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009.

Table 6
Total
Method of CEO CCTV CCTV CCTV number
PCN issue (bus lanes) (parking) (mobile unit) of all
PCNs
issued
Total % Total % Total % Total % Total
01/04/06-
67,061 83.48% 9,974 12.42% 3,294 4.10% 0 0.00% 80,329
31/03/07
01/04/07-
67,943 82.66% 7,136 8.68% 6,840 7.88% 280 0.34% 82,199
31/03/08
01/04/08-
64,323 79.95% 5,119 6.36% 8,509 10.58% 2,505 3.11% 80,456
31/03/09

Chart 1
5,119
01/04/08-31/03/09

8,509 CEO

CCTV (bus lane)

CCTV (parking)
64,323 2,505

CCTV (mobile unit)

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The table in Appendix 6 gives information and statistics against each contravention code
for the period 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009. This includes a description of the
contravention, the differential charging levels for each code (within and outside the
Bromley Controlled Parking Zone) and the total numbers and percentages of:

• PCNs issued;
• challenges and representations received;
• referrals to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS); and
• cases that were:
 written-off;
 cancelled;
 waived;
 paid;
 open (payment outstanding).

1. Differential parking penalties

Differential parking penalties became a reality on 1st July 2007 following the
approval of the Mayor for London and the agreement of the Secretary of State.

To make the system fairer, penalties at the higher charge are issued to motorists
who park where it is not generally permitted, for example on yellow lines, the
footway, school "Keep Clear" markings, or in residents’ permit or disabled bays
without displaying the appropriate permit or badge.

The less serious contraventions, which incur the lower charge, include
contraventions such as overstaying time paid for in a pay and display bay, or
parking outside bay markings.

• 51,548 were issued at the higher differential charging level


• 28,908 were issued at the lower differential charging level

2. On and off-street breakdown of PCNs issued

Each Local Authority has a duty to supply figures to various Government


departments on different types of enforcement and where PCNs were issued.
The Department for Transport requires a breakdown of on and off-street PCNs
issued by each authority. On-street is recognised as pay and display bays and
yellow line restrictions, etc. Off-street is defined essentially as car parks. The
PCNs issued using CCTV shown above (excluding bus lanes) are included in
the number of on-street contraventions.

• 61,793 PCNs were issued on-street (kerbside)


• 13,542 PCNs were issued off-street (car parks)

Please note that these figures are for the financial year (1st April 2008 – 31st
March 2009) and may differ to other publications, as the Department for
Transport work to the calendar year (1st January to 31st December).

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8 APPEALS RECEIVED

1. Challenges and representations received

We have tried wherever possible to avoid the use of jargon in this section, but
to assist you, we have briefly explained below the difference between a
challenge and a representation. The Glossary of Terms in Appendix 1 explains
all parking related words and phrases that can be found in this report.

ƒ A challenge is an appeal received before a Notice to Owner is issued


to the registered keeper of a vehicle.
ƒ A representation is an appeal received after a Notice to Owner has
been served to the registered keeper of a vehicle.

However, this scenario may vary depending on the method used to issue the
PCN, for example:

ƒ bus lane PCNs issued using CCTV (served by post) whereby the
registered keeper is served with an Enforcement Notice before which
they may make a challenge against the PCN and after which they
may make a representation; and
ƒ parking PCNs issued using CCTV (served by post) whereby the
keeper may make a representation on receipt of the PCN.

Table 7 shows the total numbers and percentages of challenges and


representations received between 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2009 (the
figures for the period 1st April 2007 to 31st March 2008 are for information and
comparison).
Table 7
Challenges against Representations against Challenges and
PCNs issued PCNs issued representations
against total PCNs
issued

Total % Total % Total %


01/04/07 –
18,082 21.99% 6,777 8.24% 24,859 30.24%
31/03/08
01/04/08 –
17,191 21.37% 7,307 9.08% 24,498 30.45%
31/03/09

In addition to challenges and representations, we received and dealt with 8,024


PCN related enquiries. These included instances where the Royal Mail had
returned our correspondence and more general enquiries about payment, etc.

2. Waivers, write-offs and cancellations

Table 8 shows the numbers and percentages (of all PCNs issued) that were
waived, written off and cancelled between 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2009
(the figures for the period 1st April 2007 to 31st March 2008 are for information
and comparison).

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The meanings of some expressions used in table 8 are as follows:

• a PCN is waived when we accept mitigating circumstances and close


the case;
• a PCN is written-off when we are unable to pursue it and close the
case;
• a PCN is cancelled when we consider that it has been issued in error
and close the case.
Table 8
Waived Written-off Cancelled Total
Number % Number % Number % Number %
01/04/07 –
3,575 4.35% 5,062 6.16% 1,504 1.83% 10,141 12.34%
31/03/08
01/04/08 –
4,279 5.32% 4,332 5.38% 1,112 1.38% 9,723 12.08%
31/03/09

A total of 4,279 (5.32%) PCNs were waived between 1st April 2008 and 31st
March 2009. A large proportion of this figure (33.94%) was due to the motorist
displaying their pay and display ticket incorrectly when the PCN was issued, but
providing it later to support an appeal. This subsequently enabled us to prove
that it was valid and an attempt had been made to display it in the vehicle when
the PCN was issued.

A total of 4,332 (5.38%) PCNs were written-off during the same period; 1,183 of
these were for penalties returned by the Royal Mail whereby the keeper did not
live at the address and a new resident provided documentary evidence that
confirmed they resided at the address. However, we endeavour to recover
outstanding debts by instructing our bailiff companies to continue to pursue
absent keepers.

A total of 1,112 PCNs or 1.38% were cancelled during this period for a variety
of reasons, such as incorrect vehicle details being recorded at the time of the
contravention.

3. The Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS)

A total of 1,016 cases were referred to PATAS for the period 1st April 2008 to
31st March 2009. These were cases where the registered keeper had made an
unsuccessful representation against a PCN and had subsequently received a
Notice of Rejection. At this stage, the keeper has the option to either pay the
charge, or appeal to an independent parking adjudicator at PATAS. Appeals
are heard by PATAS for 1.26% of all PCNs issued. Table 9 shows the following
information:

• appeals received;
• the number of statutory declarations received;
• the total completed;
• how many appeals were allowed;
• of which how many were not contested;
• how many appeals were refused;
• of which how many were withdrawn.

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(The figures for the period 1st April 2007 to 31st March 2008 are for information
and comparison).

The meanings of some expressions used in table 9 are as follows:

• allowed - PATAS have directed the Local Authority to cancel the case;
• refused - PATAS have refused the appeal, which allows the Local
Authority to pursue the case;
• not contested - the Local Authority notifies PATAS that it consents to
an appeal being allowed, which is often because further evidence has
been received after the case has been referred to PATAS.

Table 9
Appeals Statutory Total Appeals Of which Appeals Of which
received Declarations completed allowed not refused withdrawn
received contested
01/04/07 –
919 70 867 443 186 424 3
31/03/08
01/04/08 –
1,016 81 980 455 267 525 33
31/03/09

4. Debt recovery and bailiff action

A total of 5,612 cases were referred to our debt collection bailiff companies for
the period 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009. These were cases that prior to
bailiff referral, had not been withdrawn, waived or cancelled and for which
payment had not been received. Outstanding debts were collected for
approximately 23% of these cases, which accounts for 5% of all payments
received.

There are a number of reasons why bailiffs provide important services,


particularly in their endeavours to trace individuals who attempt to avoid paying
their penalties.

5. PCN Summary

We know that in many cases during the PCN process, from the issue of a
penalty to the debt collection stage, a motorist may have many significant
contacts with the Council. We also know that it is our duty to explain our
actions and make motorists aware of their options at all stages. We often
benchmark the statistics shown in this section, particularly with other London
Boroughs, to identify areas for improvement and analyse in depth the reasons
why we have different results. As ever, we are keen to learn from motorists and
their experiences - if you have any suggestions, please contact us.

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9 FINANCIAL INFORMATION

1. Parking income and expenditure

Parking enforcement income has always been a contentious issue and


we often hear the term ‘it is just a money making exercise’. Hopefully the
information below will go some way to explaining some of the
misconceptions about parking income both from PCNs and car parking
charges.

Under section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as modified by


Regulation 25 of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions
(England) General Regulations 2007, each Local Authority is obliged to
publish their accounts. The income and expenditure figures for our
parking account are shown in Table 10. If you require further information,
please contact us.

Ideally we would like to be in the position of not having to issue any PCNs.
However, this will only happen if drivers comply with parking regulations,
traffic regulations and road signs and, of course, are never late back to
their vehicle after their pay and display ticket has expired.

The benefits of compliance include improved road safety, better vehicular


movement and clearer access for pedestrians and individuals with
disabilities. Other less obvious benefits include an enhanced local
economy, for example, turnover of parking bays outside shops with time
limited bays and the effect of less congestion on the environment.

The charges for PCNs are not set by Local Authorities, but by London
Councils Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) and are ultimately
approved by the Secretary of State. However, we have the responsibility
for enforcement.

We enforce to a level that aims to encourage compliance but cannot be


viewed or demonstrated as being over zealous. It is therefore beyond our
control that financial surpluses are made, due to the number of parking
contraventions that take place within the Borough against the cost of
enforcing.

Under current legislation, any surplus is limited to meeting the cost of


providing and maintaining parking facilities, highways and street
improvement schemes, traffic management schemes, highway
maintenance and public transport services. Here at Bromley, the
remainder of the surplus from parking charges and income from PCNs is
allocated as our contribution to the Freedom Pass, which helps people
aged 60 or over to travel around London.

The charging for parking spaces on and off-street is less contentious. Our
aim is to remain competitive in our pricing, but to charge according to the

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costs of managing our parking stock/spaces in line with approved
strategies, as described in chapter 3.

2. Parking Place Reserve Account

Table 10 shows the Parking Place Reserve Account - actual expenditure


and income for the year ending 31st March 2009.

Table 10

PARKING PLACE RESERVE ACCOUNT

LONDON BOROUGH OF BROMLEY


ACTUAL EXPENDITURE AND INCOME FOR THE YEAR ENDING 31ST MARCH 2009

Off-Street On-street On-Street Permit Disabled


Description Enforcement Parking Enforcement Parking parking TOTAL
£ £ £ £ £ £
Expenditure
Running Expenses 530,727 0 114,142 6,964 651,832
Enforcement / Processing charges 460,653 1,627,249 186,100 2,274,002
Recharges 111,892 28,740 2,517 143,149
Total Expenditure 460,653 642,619 1,627,249 328,982 9,481 3,068,983

Income
Parking Fees - meters etc. 0 (2,071,472) 0 (235,609) (9,481) (2,316,561)
Other income 0 (27,970) 0 0 0 (27,970)
Parking Charge Notices (502,807) (2,829,257) (359,568) 0 (3,691,633)
Total Income (502,807) (2,099,443) (2,829,257) (595,177) (9,481) (6,036,164)

Net Expenditure (42,154) (1,456,824) (1,202,008) (266,195) 0 (2,967,182)

Defrayed expenditure
The surplus on "on-street parking" in 2008/09 is Cr £2,967,182
The following expenditure is therefore off set against this surplus:

Traffic Management schemes 38,553


Maintenance of car parks 416,085
Improvement Schemes 476,426
Park and Ride 28,793
Proportion of Concessionary Fares 2,007,326
2,967,182

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10 SUMMARY

Thank you for taking the time to read this report - we hope it has demonstrated the
wide variety and complexity of work undertaken by staff in Parking Services to meet
the requirements of motorists and the general public.

We also hope that the information we have provided is sufficient in detail to give you
a better understanding of our services and procedures. However, your input is vital,
as it will assist us in making improvements for a variety of stakeholders with differing
needs.

We will continue to look at ways to improve our service provision, but as mentioned
throughout this report, we are genuinely interested in any comments, suggestions or
queries you may have and welcome your feedback.

Yours sincerely,

Beverley Pharo
Parking Customer and Communications Officer
Parking Services
Civic Centre
Rochester Wing R75
Bromley
Kent
BR1 3UH

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