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CHRISTCHURCH BOROUGH COUNCIL

PARKING ENFORCEMENT

ANNUAL REPORT 08/09

August 2009
Introduction

Christchurch Borough Council became responsible for the implementation of


both on and off-street parking enforcement in March 2003. In addition to its
own previous responsibilities for off-street parking, an agreement with Dorset
County Council was entered into enabling on-street functions to be
undertaken. These functions were carried out under the provisions of the
Road Traffic Act 1991 and were known as Decriminalised Parking
Enforcement (DPE). On 31 March 2008, Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE)
replaced DPE functions under the provisions contained in Part 6 of the Traffic
Management Act 2004.

These matters are dealt with in more detail in this report.

This report provides details of the Council’s parking enforcement


arrangements for the financial year 2008/09.

1. Purpose of Annual Report

This report is intended to explain to residents, businesses and all other


interested stakeholders how the service is managed in the Borough of
Christchurch and to provide information regarding its performance in the
2008/09 financial year.

The Head of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and Chief Adjudicator for England
and Wales has strongly encouraged local authorities to openly report on their
parking services. The Traffic Management Act has gone further by making the
publication of annual reports mandatory.

The TPT, formerly the National Parking Adjudication Service (NPAS), is an


independent tribunal that oversees the operation of CPE across the country
and ensures that fairness and appropriate practices are maintained. To this
end the TPT has meetings and seminars and publishes bulletins and reports,
provides guidance on best practice in the enforcement realm and sets
standards and seeks to make improvements in service delivery.

2. Aims & Objectives of the Service

The current Parking Service was established in 2003, under decriminalised


arrangements with Dorset County Council, as Highway Authority, to ensure
effective, efficient and economic enforcement of parking regulations
throughout the borough in accordance with the appropriate legislation and
government guidance.

There is a clear requirement for both on and off-street functions to be


separately accountable and careful planning and management are essential
to achieve this.
The Service aims to help deliver the Council’s objectives as set out in its
approved corporate, parking and transport strategies.

The Primary objectives of the service are:


. To maintain public safety
. To assist the free movement of traffic
. To ensure compliance with parking regulations

The Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) provide a service which is


fair and even-handed and one that acts as a deterrent to drivers who would
normally seek to park in contravention of restrictions.

3. Borough of Christchurch Parking Profile

3.1 Off-Street

There are a total of 20 car parks within the borough providing 3567 spaces. 11
of these are classed as ‘shoppers’ car parks with the remaining 9 being
‘amenity’.

3.2 On-Street

On street enforcement is carried across the borough in all areas where


designated Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) exist.

4.0 Parking Income/Expenditure 2008/9

Off Street Car Parks Income 1,693,840


Off Street PCN Income 59,246
Off Street other income (permits etc) 239,182

Off Street Expenditure 955,919

Off Street Surplus 1,036,349

On Street PCN Income 59,362


On Street other income (permits/dispensations etc) 10,853

On Street Expenditure 141,374

On Street Surplus (Deficit) (71,159)

4.5 Enforcement Staff

There are currently 7 enforcement posts of which 2 also provide part-time


cover for the cash collection service from car park machines.
Staff deployment is undertaken in shifts using a system of “beats” to cover
areas where enforcement is carried out. All beats are patrolled as often as
possible, resources allowing, but with special attention always being given to
priority areas e.g. town centre.

4.6 Times that Orders and Charges Apply

Off-Street parking orders apply at all times in the Council’s ‘amenity’ car parks
but only between 8am & 7pm for those designated as ‘shoppers’. On street
restrictions vary from location to location but are clearly shown on street
signage as per legal requirement. Details of all on and off-street TROs can be
found in “The Borough of Christchurch Consolidation of Orders” which can be
viewed upon request.

Both on and off-street TROs are reviewed annually. Occasionally interim


amendments are introduced throughout the year.

5.0 Current Initiatives

5.1. Traffic Management Act

Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA) deals specifically with civil
enforcement and parking contraventions. The TMA has replaced the Road
Traffic Act 1991; Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) has replaced (DPE) and
Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) have replaced Parking Attendants (PAs).
The above was duly implemented on 31 March 2008. The introduction of the
TMA has meant a number of changes for Parking Enforcement Services
across the country.

The Act has introduced a number of contraventions to be managed through


the civil enforcement process; these have included enforcement of:
Bus Lane
Dropped Kerbs
Double Parking
Vehicle Drive-Aways (VDAs) – drivers that leave the scene before a PCN can
be issued by a CEO
Pedestrian Crossing Zigzags
Some moving traffic contraventions e.g. failure to comply with no entry sign /
failure to comply with no right or left turn

Currently only enforcement of pedestrian crossing zigzags has taken place


from the above list but with dropped kerbs and double parking due to be
considered in the coming months. There are no designated bus lanes in the
borough.

The TMA has also, and importantly, introduced a system of differential parking
charges based upon the severity of the contravention committed. The higher
level contraventions are charged at £70 with the lower level at £50.
The TMA 2004 requires authorities to publish, in the form of an annual report,
certain financial and statistical information, which should include the following:

a) Total income and expenditure of the on and off-street parking accounts.


b) A breakdown of income by source e.g. pay & display, permits, PCNs etc.
c) The total surplus or deficit of the on street parking account (this money is
ring-fenced for use on transport or environmental projects).
d) Number of PCNs issued and at what rate.
e) Number of PCNs paid and at what rate.

f) Number of PCNs against which formal or informal representation has been


made.
g) Number of PCNs cancelled.
h) Number of PCNs written off.
i) Number of vehicles clamped
j) Number of vehicles removed

These requirements have been introduced to make parking and traffic


enforcement more accountable, open and transparent.

Please note that it is not the policy of Christchurch Borough Council to either
clamp or remove vehicles at the present time.

5.2 School Parking

There are a number of schools across the borough which generate a high
volume of complaints due to parking and traffic issues. Christchurch Borough
Council is not only committed through its Civil Enforcement Officers to dealing
with breaches of restrictions but also engaging with schools, their staff and
parents in an education and awareness role. Over the past 12 months joint
patrols have taken place between Civil Enforcement Officers and Police
Community Support Officers to help tackle this issue.

5.3 Targeted Enforcement

From time to time targeted enforcement activities take place to deal with a
problem in a specific area. Typically these can last anything from a couple of
days to several weeks with the results being reviewed at the end of that
period.

5.4 Civil Enforcement Officer Role

In addition to their core duty of parking enforcement the CEOs also engage in
the enforcement of environmental offences such as littering and dog fouling.
CEOs provide an “eyes and ears” monitoring and reporting service to the
Council and the Police on issues relevant to specific neighbourhood
management initiatives.
5.5 Staff Training

All CEOs undertake an NVQ qualification in parking enforcement within 12


months of commencing their role. This is recognised as a minimum training
requirement of the Traffic Management Act. Additional training in breakaway
techniques and conflict management is also undertaken on an annual basis.

6.0 Prioritisation

6.1 Review Process

The prioritisation of enforcement activity is reviewed every 6 months and


takes into account:
a) Public safety
b) Freedom of traffic movement
c) Problem schools
d) Support for major events e.g. Mudeford Lifeboat Day/Christchurch Carnival
etc.
e) The cost effectiveness of enforcement
f) Continued assessment of performance
g) Requests from Council Members and the public

6.2 Data Analysis

The 6 monthly reviews include an assessment of data, PCN issue rates at


different locations, results of specially targeted areas, requests and
complaints from members of the public.

To establish the cost effectiveness of enforcement it is necessary to assess


levels of non-compliance and PCN issue. The identification of any “displaced”
non-compliance is also analysed. A key indicator to help optimise future
activity will be the number of PCNs per visit per location.

6.3. Performance 2008/09

The following data is provided as required by the Traffic Management Act


2004 – see 5.1 of this report.

Details of Penalty Charge Notices Issued 2008/09 (Apr-Mar)

Total Issued 5,244

On Street 2,107 40%


Off Street 3,137 60%

On Street
No. of PCNs issued at higher rate (£70) 1,183 56%
No. of PCNs issued at lower rate (£50) 924 44%
No. of PCNs paid 1,642 78%
No. of PCNs paid at discount rate 1,410 67%

No. of informal and formal representations 309 15%

No. of PCNs cancelled 137


No. of PCNs written off 209

Off Street
No. of PCNs issued at higher rate (£70) 349 11%
No. of PCNs issued at lower rate (£50) 2,788 89%

No. of PCNs paid 1,965 63%


No. of PCNs paid at discount rate 1,706 54%

No. of informal and formal appeals 1,036 33%

No. of PCNs cancelled 802


No. of PCNs written off 240

N.B. The council operates a cancellation policy that has been agreed by
Council Members and can be viewed by the public upon request.

Formal Appeals to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal – 2008/09

2008/09
Number of Appeals 4
Appeals Allowed 2
Appeals Dismissed 0
Appeals Not Contested 1
Cases Pending 1

Contact Officers:
Andy Jones
Senior Neighbourhood Management Officer

Chris Towler
Principal Revenues Officer