COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL RECORD OF DECISIONS TAKEN UNDER DELEGATED POWERS Explanatory Note The Council has established

Delegation Schemes by which certain decisions may be made by the relevant cabinet member or specific officers. Such decisions are subject to review under the Call-in Procedure. From the date the decision is published there are five working days during which any five Councillors may sign a request for the decision to be reviewed and deliver it to the Proper Officer. If, at the end of the period, no request has been made, the decision may be implemented. If a valid request has been made, the matter will be referred to either the Finance and Audit Scrutiny Panel if the Type of Decision is Service, or the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Panel if the Type of Decision is Strategic/Corporate. For decisions which are deemed to be Key Decisions, these must be included in the Forward Plan and 14 days must elapse between publication of the Forward Plan and the decision being taken. In addition, any report (excluding confidential ones) relating to a Key Decision must have been made available to the public at least five clear days prior to the decision being signed.

Part A – To be completed by the appropriate Cabinet Member/Officer

Title of Report

Publication of Parking Annual Report

Delegated Power To procure the specified service in the provision, implementation, maintenance and management of:Operational Car parking
Decision Taken

To approve the Annual Report for Parking.

Key Decision

This is not a key decision

Forward Plan

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n/a
Reasons for the Decision

Guidance issued under the Traffic Management Act 2004 (relevant parts introduced by Regulations on 31/03/2008) means that enforcement authorities now have to produce an Annual Report about their enforcement activities within six months of the end of each financial year. This is the first of these reports due, which covers the year 2008-09 in retrospect.

Alternative Options

n/a

Conflict of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Type of Decision

Service

Dispensation

n/a

Authorisation Signature________Councillor Tim Young__________________________________________ Designation _______Portfolio Holder for Street and Waste Services_____________________ Date _____________15/10/09_________________________________________ (NB For Key Decisions five clear days must have elapsed between the report being made available (see date in Key Decision box above) and the decision being taken i.e. signed)

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Part B – To be completed by the Proper Officer Call-in Procedure Date published on The Hub and placed in Members’ Room and Customer Service Centre ________23 December 2009_______________________________________________ Date by which request for reference must be made to the Finance and Audit Scrutiny Panel if the Type of Decision is Service or the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Panel if the Type of Decision is Strategic/Corporate 5pm________6 January 2010______________________________________________ Signed _____Diane Harrison______________________________________________ Proper Officer

Reference Number

STS-007-09 ____________________________

Implementation Date decision can be implemented if no request (Call-in) for the decision to be reviewed has been made After 5pm________6 January 2010__________________________________________

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Item

Street and Waste Services Portfolio Holder
5 October 2009 Report of Title Wards affected Head of Street Services Author Richard Walker ℡ 282708

Publication of Parking Annual Report 2008-09 Not applicable

This report concerns the Annual Parking Report which is now required to be produced

1. 1.1 2. 2.1

Decision(s) Required To approve the Annual Report for Parking. Reasons for Decision(s) Guidance issued under the Traffic Management Act 2004 (relevant parts introduced by Regulations on 31/03/2008) means that enforcement authorities now have to produce an Annual Report about their enforcement activities within six months of the end of each financial year. Alternative Options There are no alternative options. Strategic Plan References This report contains details from our ongoing strategy to improve parking in line with our strategic aim to be ‘’a borough where people want to live, work and visit’’. Consultation The report contains factual information required by Regulations and there is no need for Consultation. Publicity Considerations This report is required to be published widely. New Regulations brought about the core principles of fairness, transparency and consistency – and this report lends support to the transparency aim. It is that the report will generate some publicity and media coverage. Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Implications There are no particular equality, diversity or human rights implications. This is covered in the original EQIA for the Service.

3. 3.1 4. 4.1

5. 5.1

6. 6.1

6.2 7. 7.1

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8. 8.1

Other implications There are no particular references to the Strategic Plan; publicity or consultation considerations; or financial; community safety; health and safety or risk management implications.

Appendix Report

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Appendix

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www.wordle.net

Annual Report 2009: Issue 1 © Colchester Borough Council www.colchester.gov.uk/parking email: parking@colchester.gov.uk Telephone 0845 045 1599 Data contained herein may be reproduced with the prior permission of the authority.
This report follows guidance issued by the Department for Transport, British Parking Association and The Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

Version date: Wednesday, 23 December 2009

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Contents
Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................................10 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................13 About this document ...........................................................................................................................................13 Other published documents ................................................................................................................................13 Legislation .........................................................................................................................................................13 Overview & Local Context ......................................................................................................................................13 Overview & Local Context ......................................................................................................................................14 Setting the scene ...............................................................................................................................................14 Links with the Local Transport Plan ....................................................................................................................14 Parking Enforcement Policy ................................................................................................................................14 Local Context .....................................................................................................................................................16 Aims and Objectives ...........................................................................................................................................16 A Sense of Place ...................................................................................................................................................17 Parking Enforcement Priorities............................................................................................................................17 Links with other council priorities. .......................................................................................................................17 Challenges of Parking Enforcement ....................................................................................................................17 Enforcement and parking restrictions ..................................................................................................................17 Announcing Changes to Operations ....................................................................................................................18 Enforcement Pattern Changes ............................................................................................................................18 Tackling Schools Enforcement ............................................................................................................................18 On Street Parking Places ...................................................................................................................................19 Off Street Parking Places ...................................................................................................................................19 Changes within car parks ...................................................................................................................................19 Code of Practice for Civil Enforcement Officers ...................................................................................................20 Representations Handling...................................................................................................................................20 Local Authority Structure ....................................................................................................................................20 Other Related Issues ..........................................................................................................................................21 Customer Service ...............................................................................................................................................21 Enforcement overview ........................................................................................................................................21 Communication and Consultation........................................................................................................................21 Contacting Parking Services ...............................................................................................................................21 Information and Enquiries ...................................................................................................................................21 Digest ...................................................................................................................................................................22 Schools .......................................................................................................................................................22 Verge Parking ..............................................................................................................................................22 Parking Charges in car parks .......................................................................................................................23 Policy and Performance Appraisals .......................................................................................................................25 Objectives & Performance ..................................................................................................................................25 Delivery .............................................................................................................................................................25 Performance against traffic management priorities: .............................................................................................25 Statistics for Parking PCNs ....................................................................................................................................25 Statistical Tables ................................................................................................................................................27 Financial .................................................................................................................................................................31 More information about PCNs ................................................................................................................................32 Cancelled cases .................................................................................................................................................32 Written off and Paid cases ..................................................................................................................................32 PCNs Issued ......................................................................................................................................................33 PCNs by contravention .......................................................................................................................................34 Statistical information for Bus Lane and Moving Traffic PCNs ..............................................................................35 Other Relevant References .....................................................................................................................................36 Documents .........................................................................................................................................................36 Glossary ............................................................................................................................................................36 Web Site ............................................................................................................................................................37 End Notes and Sources ......................................................................................................................................37

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Executive Summary
The enforcement of parking is one of the more contentious issues with which the council has to deal. However there is rarely smoke without fire, and the statistics in this report show that a penalty is rarely issued without a contravention having first been committed.

It is of course the way in which all cases are dealt with by the council which is of interest to errant motorists. To this end, Regulations introduced at the start of the last financial year under the Traffic Management Act, brought about the core principles of fairness, transparency and consistency brought about the biggest changes to the process for a number of years.

To underpin the fairness aspect, Regulations also brought in differential penalties for the more and less serious contraventions.

Consistency between councils was strengthened by way of the statutory guidance and revised operational guidance, which was also issued on 31 March 2008.

Transparency in how successful the scheme has been in meeting its aims is the subject of this first Annual Report. Over a number of years, Annual Reports will start to build up a picture of the enforcement regime.

Parking impacts on many areas and I am glad to note that this report contains details from our ongoing strategy to improve our parking in line with our strategic aim to be “a borough where people want to live, work and visit”.

Cllr Tim Young

Portfolio Colchester Borough Council

Holder

for

Parking

September 2009

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blank page

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Introduction
About this document

Guidance issued under the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA) means that enforcement authorities have to produce an Annual Report about their enforcement activities within six months of the end of each financial year. This is the first of these reports due, which covers the year 2008-09 in retrospect. The requirements are given in: • the TMA itself and the related Statutory Guidance (SG), issued in February 2008i. • the Operational Guidance (OG), issued in March 2008, with minor revisions in May 2008.ii

specific policy objectives and report on how these are being met. The aim of Part 6 of the TMA is to provide a consistent set of regulations and procedures throughout England, while allowing parking policies to suit local circumstances. It promotes fairness, openness and accountability. Statutory Guidance sets out the policy framework for civil parking enforcement. It is relevant to quote here the CPE policy objectives from SG:
from the Statutory Guidance: ‘11 CPE should contribute to the authority’s transport objectives. A good CPE regime is one that uses quality-based standards that the public understands, and which are enforced fairly, accurately and explicitly. 12 Enforcement authorities should aim to increase compliance with parking restrictions through clear, well designed, legal and enforced parking controls. CPE provides a means by which an authority can effectively deliver wider transport strategies and objectives. Enforcement authorities should not view CPE in isolation or as a means of raising revenue. 13 Enforcement authorities should design their parking policies with particular regard to: • managing the traffic network to ensure expeditious movement of traffic (including pedestrians and cyclists), as required under its Network Management Duty (as per Part 2 of the TMA); improving road safety; improving the local environment; improving the quality and accessibility of public transport; meeting the needs of people with disabilities, some of whom will be unable to use public transport and depend entirely on the use of a car; and managing and reconciling the competing demands for kerb space.’

Other published documents

Other documents of interest include: • Protocols, policies and plans • Strategy Document The council publishes its enforcement protocols and plans on the website, accessible at www.colchester.gov.uk/parking and other details of parking and enforcement are covered in our Parking Strategy Document.
Legislation

The principal legislation affecting parking enforcement is Part 6 of the TMA. Parts 2 and 7 are also relevant. Part 2 imposes a network-management duty on all local traffic authorities. This is aimed at ensuring the efficient management of the road network to reduce congestion and delays. Part of the network-management duty is to manage parking and other traffic regulations, to achieve the required aims. The network management duty is for the county council, as highway authority, Essex being a two-tier authority area. Part 7 covers amendments to the blue badge scheme and the application of parking surpluses. These amendments have already been brought into effect. The annual report is an opportunity for councils to describe this policy background, explain any

• • • •

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Overview & Local Context
Setting the scene

• •

National policy context is set by the OG; On Local Policy, the OG recommends that each local authority should have a clear idea of what its parking policy is and what it intends to achieve by it. They should appraise their policy and its objectives regularly. The Government’s policy on parking provision is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG) 13, Transport. Specific policy on parking provision for housing development is in Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 3, Housing. The Local Development Framework policy is given fully in the document available separately. The thrust of the text, linking to pricing of parking, states that the Council has influence over the provision of public car parking through the management and pricing structure of its car parks.
Links with the Local Transport Plan

on street charging and controls and enforcement; specific proposals, or references to the individual strategies, for the major town centres and evidence that enforcement issues have been considered; Consistent and coherent strategy which brings together planning standards, charging and on street controls; Clear strategy for effective enforcement; Helps to reduce the traffic levels in town centres whilst at the same time ensuring enough good quality publicly available parking to support the continuing economic viability of retail and leisure investment in these locations; Discourages commuting by car, particularly into congested areas such as town centres – through charging policies and active management to favour short term visitor parking; Where the overall amount, quality and location of publicly owned car parks are managed to deliver the objectives of the LTP and development plan.

• •

The County Council’s Local Transport Plan (LTP) currently in its second edition (20062011) states that Essex County Council will: “…continue to work in partnership with each District and Borough Council to develop coherent parking regimes to ensure that car drivers are encouraged to change their travel choices.” This PEP aims to support the LTP Traffic Management Objective of Tackling Congestion To reduce the rate and incidence of congestion and its effects on residents and businesses in Essex by effective Parking control and management The LTP Traffic Management Strategy also includes for: A review of parking restrictions to ensure that important traffic and busy corridors remain congestion free. The LTP characteristics and their relevance to how parking enforcement schemes are linked are shown by the highlighted sections below:

Parking Enforcement Policy

Colchester has a Parking Enforcement Policy (PEP) which is also published on the Web Site. The PEP is based upon prioritising clearly identified needs, such as the needs of people with disabilities, residents, visitors and businesses and will help to manage

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parking in the council’s areas on a fair and consistent basis.

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Local Context

The purpose of Civil Parking Enforcement can be summarised as follows:

The PEP seeks to put LTP policy into a local context and meet the needs of all road users by clearly prioritising the different parking enforcement needs across the Partnership area. The aim is to manage parking in the Partnership area on a fair and consistent basis.
The PEP and local protocols: The PEP helps support a better and safer environment and generally improve parking conditions across the Partnership area by: • • • • • • meeting the needs of all road users; supporting effective parking management; seeking to improve sustainable access; meeting environmental objectives; focussing on customer needs; being comprehensive, including consideration of on- and off-street parking enforcement regimes, on-street controls and parking standards; co-ordinating and being compatible with neighbouring decriminalised authorities; providing a clear strategy for effective enforcement; and ensuring that the needs of disabled people, motorcycles, buses, coaches, business and freight are taken into account, along with loading and signing issues in relation to parking.

It will be safer for drivers and pedestrians since the new focus on enforcement means clearer roads and pavements; It will be better for local businesses since areas of short term parking such as those outside local shops will receive more attention, increasing the potential for local trade; It will support town centre needs by encouraging commuters and other drivers to use long stay car parks where appropriate thereby freeing up short stay car park spaces for drivers who need them; It will increase parking for residents by discouraging commuters from parking in permit only areas; It will increase Blue Badge benefits since the increased enforcement of existing parking spaces for disabled drivers will improve availability for Blue Badge holders.

• • •

In addition Civil Parking Enforcement will have the following benefits:

Aims and Objectives

With fewer illegally parked cars there will be fewer accidents, better traffic flow and accessibility, because the focus of enforcement will be on lessening inconsiderate and dangerous illegal parking in order to improve safety and minimise congestion; Emergency and service vehicles will be able to operate more effectively along roads and low floor buses will be able to reach the kerb at bus stops since fewer inconsiderately parked vehicles will be in their way; The general environment will improve by providing a more environmentally efficient transport system in terms of reducing congestion, energy conservation; use of other modes of

The aim of enforcement is to maximise compliance with regulations to make our streets safer for all road users, particularly vulnerable road users; to prevent obstruction and delays (especially for buses and emergency vehicles); to ensure that parking bays are available for their intended use and to improve the general street scene.

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A Sense of Place
Colchester is a town in north Essex, in East Anglia. Home to the University of Essex, the Colchester Institute and an Army Garrison, and with its attractive old buildings, Roman wall, castle and proximity to Constable country, Colchester is an interesting place to visit. Colchester has a Roman history, and claims to be the oldest recorded town in England. The Roman heritage led to the urban area being set out in grid pattern. Colchester is similar in many ways to Chester, Exeter and York. The population of the borough is about 188,000, making it the second largest nonunitary district outside London. The borough has 72 schools, and both an expanding built up area and large rural area to its borough, including market towns and many picturesque villages, a port, and Mersea island which is separated at high tide.
Parking Enforcement Priorities

Challenges of Parking Enforcement

Enforcement must be balanced and prioritised on an ‘as required’ basis depending upon resources available, including: • the needs of disabled people and effective enforcement of parking regulations to enable easy access to activities and facilities. • road safety initiatives (especially for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users), and emergency access requirements. managing local parking problem areas, e.g. for child safety near schools caused by the school run (including Safer Routes to School initiatives) and associated short-stay on-street parking activity. legitimate parking and loading requirements of businesses, taking into account commercial needs for delivery and servicing movements and the opportunity for changing delivery schedules and vehicle sizes. supporting the safe and efficient operation of the public transport network, especially on low-floor bus corridors.

Enforcement is targeted to tackle problem areas. The PEP specification provides a schedule and prescribes the hierarchy of patrol visits (high priority, medium or low), dependent upon the location type and requirements. This ensures a good parking enforcement regime that is both consistent and transparent. It is also flexible, allowing early, late and specialist patrols to take place as required.
Links with other council priorities.

Our strategic vision is for Colchester - a place where people want to live, work and visit. Success will make Colchester the place of choice for visitors and residents – a borough with vibrant and empowered communities and high regard for the wellbeing of the environment. Each member of staff contributes to the council’s strategic vision through smart objectives, service plans linked to the Strategy, known as the golden thread.

enforcement against observed parking patterns of demand to allow targeting of known problem areas The basis for this is fair, consistent, transparent, policy-driven and quality-led operational enforcement.
Enforcement and parking restrictions

There are two types of enforcement carried out in Colchester: mobile and foot patrol. The mobile teams cover the outer areas of the borough and schools, and the foot patrols cover a selection of predefined beats, and in doing so cover all areas on a fair basis. On normal enforcement days, there are two out of three enforcement teams present. This equates to twelve officers plus Leading

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Officers in charge of each team who should be able to overlay that provision. Random or specific enforcement operations, including provision to cover special events, means the extension to cover a full range of times.
Announcing Changes to Operations

around making the penalty charge notices, official documentation and correspondence compliant with the changed legislation and new Regulations, and making changes to the database in order to be remain complaint. This was all completed successfully by the start of the new legislation.
Enforcement Pattern Changes

Our own assessments, including visits to other authorities, indicate that Colchester is following best practice. The Operational Guidance encourages councils to maintain links with neighbouring authorities and others in order to investigate and build best practice. A visit was made to Portsmouth in order to see the parking operation, and gather information about their parking machine maintenance service. Links with the Ipswich operation exist and two visits were made in the year. Other authorities have visited Colchester. The most successful operations have been responsive to change, and Colchester historically has been no exception. The challenge is to stay ahead of the legislation in order to provide an economic, efficient, responsive enforcement service. We have also tried to publicise details of where changes have been made, in order to conform with the transparency requirements of the latest Guidance. The most obvious changes within the year were to comply with the new Regulations which brought about Civil Parking Enforcement , with the introduction of new legislation, changes to the way Penalty Charges are issued: These are now in two bands, for more serious and less serious contraventions. More serious would be parking on double yellow lines, attracting a £70 penalty charge, and the less serious being overstaying a ticket in a car park, attracting a £50 penalty charge. Both levels are still subject to prompt payment discounts of 50%. The changes to legislation also meant retraining for staff in the new scheme, with some extra contravention codes to deal with. A very large piece of work centred

It is good practice to review enforcement operations regularly, and make changes to patterns on a random but regular basis. Historically, enforceable restrictions have generally been within a core set of hours from 08:00 – 18:00 (e.g. single yellow lines), however there are many other restrictions which exist outside these times (some bus stops and all double yellow lines, for example are “at any time”). Additional enforcement hours were considered as part of the original enforcement planning process and have traditionally been within the scope of 07:30 to 22:00 depending upon the day in question. Provision was reviewed in light of casual observations of compliance outside these hours and evenings enforcement extended on a random basis.
Tackling Schools Enforcement

Possibly one of the greatest areas of conflict is that around schools at the time children are arriving and leaving. Schools enforcement was therefore reviewed in the year, with a team being dedicated to visiting all enforceable school markings in rotation. This gives the ability to make extra patrols if deemed necessary, and feedback from the local Neighbourhood Action Panels is used in this respect. The schools team has worked with locally based PCSOs to good effect, having been reported in local newspapers.

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Changes within car parks On Street Parking Places

In common with many regional centres, much of the town centre is restricted by yellow lines – with parking being available off-street in car parks. The High Street is a Restricted Zone, being wholly restricted except for sign-marked bays. There is disabled badge parking and goods vehicle loading provision in the High Street and nearby. There is presently no on-street charging for parking.
Off Street Parking Places

The parking service was visited by Mobilise, representing disabled motorists. The aim was to investigate the recently installed Automatic Number Plate Recognition system in car parks, designed to make use of the barriers easier. But the visit was also intended to explore the difficulties faced by disabled motorists generally. The visit was unannounced amongst staff in order to get a fully representative view. As a result of the visit, Colchester was featured in the Mobilse magazine.

We provide eleven off-street town centre car parks and a number of other facilities in local towns and villages. In all surface car parks the payment technology used is Pay and Display, with a Pay by Phone service to back this up. The Pay by Phone service involves a one-off registration, and is then cashless in operation. There are two town centre multi-storey car parks which incorporate a barrier control “Pay on Foot” system, where credit cards are also accepted. Full details of all Colchester car parks are given on the parking pages at www.colchester.gov.uk/parking using the map selector on the car parks page. Parking types are split between long, medium and short stay. In common with most other large centres, no long-stay parking is available in the town centre. A diagram of the split is reproduced here.

The ANPR trial was a complete success, and this visit reported on some of the less appropriate angles of existing provision, and as a direct result led to a number of access improvements in car parks. Our improvements were tried out at Sheepen Road car park, which included the development of our “Welcome Mat” concept,

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dealing with access considerations having no kerb-line step, a new signage unit with all information at the correct height, and paired machines so that if one were out of service it would not involve far to walk to another. Realising that parking services are about more than just the car, the Welcome Mat also incorporates signage which is consistent with pedestrian fingerpost signage in the town, and details of other special notices in an integrated poster case. This innovation was reported in the sector magazine “Parking Review”.

Following this induction, a week-long City & Guilds course and examination must be passed before any tickets can be issued. It can be seen that we take the correct issue of PCNs very seriously. It is also worth dispelling the myth about bonuses at this point: CEOs are salaried and do not receive any penalty incentives.
Representations Handling

Challenges and Representations are dealt with by the council by an in-house team, divided into Case Officers and Appeals Officers. Any informal challenges are handled in the Case Management section. Formal Representations are handled by a separate group, giving an independent “second look” to cases where formal Representations have arisen.
Local Authority Structure

Enforcement in Colchester is carried out by Colchester Borough Council, which is a The innovative design was shortlisted in the second-layer authority in a two-tier local “Living Streets” category at the British authority structure (Essex County Council Parking Awards, and came in second place. being the other authority). The organisations Code of Practice for Civil Enforcement Officers involved in the civil enforcement process are A code of practice for Civil Enforcement shown in the attached Officers (CEOs) is being developed by diagram, which also Road Traffic Act 1991 fic sector organisations. This will be Traffic Management Act 200 2004 shows the differences adopted when produced. Statutory Instrument “Colchester” nstrument between the Colchester has its own 2007/08 process handbook for CEOs which NATIONAL GOVERNMENT and the 2008/09 Civil Enforcement Area ivil gives details of shift revised system. Circular 1/95 DfT Guidance procedures, approach, COUNTY s87 guidance “Statutory guidance to COUNCIL Since 2002, local authorities on the civil and the underpinning enforcement of parking contraventions” and (1/95 replacement) “parking policy Essex County Regulations. and enforcement Operational guidance to local authorities” Council has There is also a parking Parking Orders had an office version of the Off Street On Street Agreement with document for administration Colchester purposes. Parking Enforcement Policy Borough Council to carry All CEOs undergo an BOROUGH out all enforcement in the Parking Operational Plan COUNCIL extremely thorough training Colchester Area on its regime including up to two PO Manual PA Manual behalf. The county council months beat area remains the highway familiarisation plus Enforcement and Office Operations authority and on-street ‘buddying’ with experienced enforcement authority, but with officers to learn evidence duties being carried out by the gathering, pocket book noteBorough, which also enforces its own offtaking, handheld computer usage and the street car parks. types of contraventions occurring in different areas.
replaced by the 2002 No. 2186 ROAD TRAFFIC 6 The Road Traffic (Permitted Parking Area ffic and Special Parking Area) (County of Essex) (Borough of Colchester) Order 2002 Under TMA Schedule 8 Article (4) an SPA/PPA chedule becomes a

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Towards the end of the year, joint working proposals with Braintree and Uttlesford District Councils were investigated and this has subsequently led to a Parking Partnership with Colchester as the lead authority for the three areas. It is envisaged that, during the 2009/10 financial year, all front line staff of the three authorities will transfer to Colchester, which will handle all administration centrally whilst retaining locally-based enforcement staff .
Other Related Issues

Special operations take place around football matches, where CEOs work closely in Partnership with Police.
Enforcement overview

Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) have powers to inspect Blue Badges to make sure they are being used correctly. Blue badges are administered by the county council, and lists of lost or stolen badges are received frequently and passed to Civil Enforcement Officers in case these are seen being used. Where CEOs encounter abandoned or untaxed vehicles on beat, they will report them to the Street Care section which can take action (under alternative legislation) to deal appropriately with them.
Customer Service

The borough council has enabled Internet and automated telephone payment systems, and accepts credit/debit card transactions over the telephone on the general administration number. The service also accepts cheques. Challenges and representations can be made in writing, by email or by e-form using the Internet. Details of what the process entails are included on the council’s website.
Communication and Consultation

During the year, consultation has taken place about the Resident Parking Review. This is an ongoing review which is gathering informal information about the existing schemes to help the county council make improvements.
Contacting Parking Services

Contact can be made: • Through the Website www.colchester.gov.uk; • • • In Person at the Customer Service Centre in Colchester High Street; By telephone on 01206 282316;

The Parking Service focuses on Customer needs by: • Ensuring an efficient, robust and customer-friendly parking system. • Effective tackling of parking fraud, and abuse of the Blue Badge Scheme. Ensuring an effective, fair and consistent enforcement operation to maximise compliance with Colchester’s parking regulations.

Consulting and communicating with both internal and external stakeholders to inform parking management issues. The service meets customers special needs effectively for special events such as the Mersea Regatta, Dedham Street Fare, and other town centre and local events by providing a safety no waiting cones service.

In writing to PO Box 5575 Colchester CO1 1XQ. Parking information is provided to the public in a number of ways. The Internet site contains lots of data about the pay or challenge process, and also the locations of car parks. A leaflet is produced regularly and the latest edition was sent door to door in the borough in October 2008; the Parking Information Guide details parking information and was produced at no cost to the council.
Information and Enquiries

There have been 34 enquiries including comments and complaints during the financial year to 31 March 2009. At least two of these were formal compliments.

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Digest
The digest included here gives actual answers to some frequently asked questions. In the main these are answers given by email to correspondents.

Schools

There are over 70 schools within the Borough of Colchester and parking attendants carry out patrols around most of them, priority being given to those where parent parking compromises safety or causes the most inconvenience to other road users. Parent parking at school start and finish times generates more demand for parking enforcement than any other parking issue and is a national problem and is by no means particular to Colchester. As far as school zig zags are concerned, parking attendants can issue an instant penalty charge notice as long as the markings are backed by a valid traffic regulation order. However, parent parkers generally comply with any waiting and parking restrictions when parking attendants are seen to be patrolling, but I am afraid that parking attendants cannot be outside every school twice a day, every day. The next day when parking attendants are somewhere else, of course, chaos rules again. Regrettably, parking law is unhelpful in this respect. The law allows motorists to stop on single and double yellow lines in order to set down or pick up passengers and to load or unload which means that parking attendants must observe for long enough to satisfy themselves that this is not the case, before they can even consider issuing penalty charge notices. As with much of the parking that we patrol, the associated parking problems are ongoing and as one vehicle leaves, another arrives. It seems that some parents value their own child's delivery and collection over and above the safety of all or for the greater good; whatever we do to try and educate these situations, parents seemingly will not abide by the law.

Whilst I appreciate the situation is frustrating, I hope that you will be able appreciate that parking attendants simply cannot be everywhere all of the time. We now have a schools enforcement team. The schools team now goes to each school in rotation. It is possibly the most frustrating task in enforcement – a barrage of abuse (in front of children even) and people generally behave when we are present; anarchy reigns once when we leave. We enforce at all sorts of times (and can get stats if necessary) but the “schools team” can do extra daytime patrols, if we know a time/day and place of particular problems - we’ll add to the list to take a look (though I foresee now that everyone will comply when CEOs are present, and will only ever be naughty when we are not there). The school team thus visits on a random and regular basis, and can be requested to give it an additional look in between times - though the pull on finite resources is great and any additional visits here will mean less elsewhere.

“ “

Verge Parking

Probably the next most enquired-about item, after ‘parking outside schools’ and ‘shops’. There is currently some debate at national level on this subject. Principally because in London, ‘pavement parking’ (an ambiguous term – “footway” or “carriageway” are preferred) is universally not allowed, unless specifically permitted by signage and Order. This is unlikely to be extended yet to the rest of the country). It may help to understand what can, and what cannot be enforced by the council, and why enforcement appears odd when it happens in some places and not others. Many people ask about enforcing parking generally on verges.

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Verge and footway parking can be unsightly and inconsiderate and can damage the surface and services (like phone line ducting) that are buried underneath. Presently however, greensward and verges cannot be enforced generally unless there are parking restrictions that cover these areas (normally this would be yellow lines at the kerbside next to them). Parking enforcement is regulated (often by seemingly odd rules) but this limits the council in the level of what it can and cannot do. The government under the Department for Transport makes rules to say what can be enforced and how, and the county council is responsible for where restrictions are put on roads. Yellow line restrictions also apply to verges and footways next door to them but where there are no yellow line restrictions, with few exceptions, we cannot enforce parking on verges in other areas. (For completeness, the exception is enforcement of parking across dropped-kerb footway crossings (such as crossing points designed to assist mobility impaired people in crossing the road) which do not need to be marked to be enforced.) Otherwise the Police may be able to assist with bad parking – but only where it is causing obstruction.

Parking Charges in car parks

The policy in Colchester is to provide a variety of parking to suit peoples needs, whilst influencing driver behaviour to avoid adding to congestion at peak times. There is a core tariff and incentives to park off-peak. The fees are set at a level to reflect the facilities provided with appropriate parking charges, in line with shopping available in other similar locations, and in support of local and national policies. At the town centre surface car parks, there is a selection of time bands in different car parks. You can park from ½ hour from 50p (at Britannia), 40 minutes from 90p we have

re-introduced the 1 hour band, 2 hours is available at various charges, and we now have special offers (designed in conjunction with town centre traders) aside from the core tariff. With the Day Out offer you can park for 5 hours for £2 – a value equivalent to just 40p per hour. Not all fees have been increased; all charges at Britannia car park have been held. Details of fees and offers at the different car parks can be found at www.colchester.gov.uk/parking under the “Promotions” link. Unfortunately the whole picture is not usually reported and therefore a view is promoted that everything is the same (and expensive). This however is not the case. In long stay there is a day rate and only car parked per bay per day usually, meaning low turnover. The prices are normally higher there to dissuade peak hour travel on grounds of cost and supply. In short stay, short visits are encouraged to ensure that spaces in the town centre are turned over regularly off-peak, and therefore a space is usually available as normally some-one is just leaving. Here, we also have incentives to use certain locations, where special offers are provided – in the same way that retailers do. Long stays are dissuaded on the grounds of price (in some other towns longer stays are prohibited in short stay car parks). With the multi-storeys, a middle-ground price is provided simply on the balance of highest volumes and trends in supply and demand, since these locations are large and become much fuller more regularly. There is a need to balance usage across all available car parks to encourage best use of the resources and to reduce congestion caused by queuing and throughput at busiest times. Working together with town centre traders, to pick the right promotions, Colchester Borough Council will over summer be expanding the current off-peak offers to more car parks (such as St Mary's), so more people will be able to take advantage of better value parking outside the peak hours.

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As a local authority we are called upon to lead and support transport policy. This work is actually quite innovative within the Parking Sector (although it has been the norm for transport and retail for some time) and because of this, it's vital for us to get the offers right first time if they are to succeed ahead of simple bottom line accounting. Any less income to the council will result in a shortfall somewhere, and there is simply no room for that. So you can see the requirement to get this right is of utmost importance.

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Policy and Performance Appraisals The OG recommends many areas which should be included in this report and this section outlines areas measured.
Objectives & Performance

number of PCNs

The wider performance issues, including overall transport aspects such as road safety, traffic flow, transfer of car journeys to public transport (changing travel behaviour), environmental (air-quality) issues, will be explained in more detail by the County Council in their report. Colchester’s contribution is limited to offstreet parking, including the encouragement of lower-emission vehicles, in the Sheepen Road car park. The on street parking enforcement agreement is operated under a Deficit Support contract – where the county council ultimately underwrites any shortfalls in the system, after any local contributions have been agreed. The borough works closely with the county in reviewing existing restrictions, signage and road markings. Training is carried out to a minimum of City & Guilds level 2 standards in order to guarantee the quality of service. All CEOs have undergone this training, and receive regular top-ups.
Delivery

Welcome Mat and signage package to all town centre car parks. Colchester compares itself with other local authorities, including accessibility provision and ticket prices. Even against other towns which have the benefit of Park & Ride, with the latest special offers and other measure, we now compare very favourably.
Performance against traffic management priorities:

Reducing contraventions. The number of contraventions which were issued a PCN reduced in the year. The service did expect a dip due to a cluster of staff turnover and sickness. Statistics for Parking PCNs The following pages give more detailed statistical information in the form of tables, graphs and charts. There is some amplification and description of the more notable statistics. The following charts show data from the last financial year (2008-09).
PCNs issued by penalty
16,000 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 On Street Off Street lower level higher level

During 2007, a new series of special offers was being trialled for further roll-out into the new year. The problem identified was that the offstreet tariff was not sufficiently attractive to shoppers. So in a joint venture with the Colchester Retail and Business Association steps were taken to develop and trial a series of special parking offers. These have proved very successful in maintaining ticket sales levels in off-street car parks, and in shifting demand towards off-peak times. There remains a number of planned improvements with parking signage (following the successful prototyping of the new range of signage) and planned future actions are to extend the coverage of the

From 31 March 2008, the penalty charge level varied according to the “seriousness” of the contravention. The chart above demonstrates that the more serious contraventions are found on-street and lesser contraventions, off-street. Examples of the higher (£70) penalty include contravening yellow lines. The lesser (£50)

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contraventions include overstaying time on a parking ticket.
PCNs paid by rate 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0
On Street EO Off Street CH Number of PCNs paid w hich w ere issued at the higher band Number of PCNs paid w hich w ere issued at the low er band

issued in 2008/09 may still be being pursued.
PCNs by rate paid
12,000 10,000 Total PCNs 2007/08 Total PCNs 2008/09

number of PCNs paid

8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 -

This chart shows the amount of penalties which are paid at each of the two rates explained above.
% of PCNs paid
100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Total PCNs 2007/08 Total PCNs 2008/09 % of PCNs paid

The timescale described above changed slightly under the new regulations mentioned above. More penalties were paid at the initial discount amount during 208/09 than the year before. The penalties paid at other rates may be due to arrangements made with the bailiff. Fewer of the later cases in 2008/09 have yet reached that stage.

Not all penalties ever get paid. Collection rates above 70% are considered to be acceptable. Some penalties are cancelled and some have an extended life before being collected. The timescale for collection may be up to a year – so some of those

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Statistical Tables

The tables on the following pages give required and additional information. The rows shown in blue and bold in the attached tables are statutorily required. The rest of the information is given voluntarily against guidelines on best practice. Table 1 ISSUED PCNs Description

Total PCNs 2007/08 19,636 PCNs PCNs PCNs PCNs

Total PCNs 2008/09 18,062 13,672 4,390 75.7% 24.3% 18,062 0

On Street

Off Street

CCTV
(included in columns to the left)

EO
15,341 13,397 1,944 74.2% 10.8% 15,341 0

CH
2,721 275 2,446 1.5% 13.5% 2,721 0

Number of PCNs Issued Number of higher level issued Number of lower level issued Percentage of higher level issued Percentage of lower level issued Number of Reg 9 PCNs issued Number of Reg 10 PCNs issued

The table shows that slightly fewer PCNs were issued in the financial year 2008/09 than the previous year. This was partially due to understaffing in the enforcement teams which takes a time to resolve, as new staff must undergo thorough training before starting enforcement, which can be a lead time of around two months from recruitment. 2008/09 is the first year when the lower and higher rate PCNs were issued. There were fewer off-street higher PCNs as would be expected, due to the type of contraventions able to be issued there (the contravention for an overstay is a lower charge). “Reg 9” PCNs are those issued by a Civil Enforcement Officer on street. A “Reg 10” is a PCN from the new legislation which can be sent in the post under certain circumstances. No “Reg 10” PCNs were issued.

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Table 2 PCNs PAID Description Number of PCNs paid Number of PCNs paid which were issued at the lower band Number of PCNs paid which were issued at the higher band Percentage of PCNs paid which were issued at the lower band Percentage of PCNs paid which were issued at the higher band Number of PCNs paid at discount rate (i.e. within 14 days) Number of PCNs paid at full rate Number of PCNs paid after Charge Certificate served (i.e. at increased rate) Percentage of PCNs paid at Charge Certificate Number of PCNs paid at another rate (e.g. negotiated with bailiff, etc). Percentage of PCNs paid Percentage of PCNs paid at discount rate Total PCNs 2007/08 15,334 Total PCNs 2008/09 13,161 3,191 9,970 24.2% 75.8% 10,517 1,960 830 5.4% 2,027 78.1% 68.6% 11,199 1,428 502 3.8% 32 72.9% 85.1% On Street Off Street CCTV
(included in columns to the left)

EO
11,197 1,418 9,779 12.7% 87.3% 9,553 1,203 415 3.7% 26 73.0% 85.3%

CH
1,964 1,773 191 90.3% 9.7% 1,646 225 87 4.4% 6 72.2% 83.8%

The number of PCNs paid was lesser in 2008/09, than the year before, although there were fewer PCNs issued overall, This may also reflect the issuing pattern which varies slightly naturally over time. Many more PCNs were paid at the lower band in off street car parks than on street; conversely many more PCNs were paid at the higher on-street. The percentage of PCNs paid is not reflective, as the recovery process can take up to a year. For the last PCNs issued, this has not yet been completed, and there is chance to take additional enforcement action on these PCNs. website: http://www.patrolThe full recovery process is explained diagrammatically at the uk.info/site/index.php

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Table 3 Description PCNs CHALLENGED Number of PCNs cancelled as a result of an informal or a formal representation Number of PCNs against which an informal or formal representation was made Number of PCNs where informal representations are made Number of informal rep dismissals that proceed to NTO stage No of NTOs issued Percentage of PCNs cancelled at any stage. Number of PCNs written off for other reasons (e.g. CEO error or driver untraceable) Number of vehicles immobilised Number of vehicles removed. Percentage of PCNs written off for other reasons (e.g. CEO error or driver untraceable) Number of cases where no further action was taken Total PCNs 2007/08 Total PCNs 2008/09 On Street Off Street CCTV
(included in columns to the left)

EO

CH

3,383

3,268

1530 1519 58 2859 17.23% 1475 0 0

1814 1802 96 2377 18.09% 261 0 0

7.51%

1.45%

3,839

3,529

2,971

558

Presently, correspondence cannot be separated easily for reporting purposes between on-street and off-street. Of note here is the number of extra informal representations (or “challenges”) at the first stage made (considering the lesser number of PCNs issued) – which is a good result in light of the objectives of TMA to make the system fairer and more transparent to the motorist. The council will usually hold the discount at this stage. There is an easy route to making a challenge by email or using an e-form online, and the figures may represent an increase in the amount of people having an Internet connection – backed up by clearer options on the PCN itself. No vehicles were immobilised (“clamped”) or removed as a result of initial parking legislation (although the right exists, and ,ay also be used by bailiffs in the later stages of the process). Revisions to legislation mean that only multiple offenders would be considered for clamping.

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Table 4 APPEALS TO THE TRAFFIC PENALTY TRIBUNAL Description Total Total PCNs PCNs 2007/08 2008/09 Number of appeals to adjudicators Number of appeals refused Number of appeals non-contested Percentage of formal representations that go to appeal Percentage of appeals allowed (where the appellant 'wins') Percentage of appeals dismissed (or 'refused ' where the council 'wins') Percentage of appeals to Traffic Penalty Tribunal that are not contested and reasons for this 28 22 0 0.14% 78.57% 32.14% 18 9 2 0.10% 38.89% 50.00%

On Street

Off Street

CCTV
(included in columns to the left)

EO
16

CH
2

0.00%

11.11%

The number of appeals to the Independent Adjudicator fell in the most recent year, down to 1 in 1000 cases. The Adjudicator only sees a very small percentage of cases which are issued, and then still half of them are decided in favour of the council. This is decided on a 51:49 rule – and does not apportion blame, more that one side’s evidence weighs heavier than the other.

Table 5 OTHER Description

Total PCNs 2007/08 2044 20.04 1.1

Total PCNs 2008/09 1945 16.50 1.2

On Street

Off Street

CCTV
(included in columns to the left)

EO
1205

CH
740

Percentage of PCNs taken to Court Order Number of CEOs employed Average number of appeals per officer

If no appeal is made, the PCN continues via a Notice to Owner document to Charge Certificate, after which it is registered as a debt. At least two documents are served prior to that stage. Then a bailiff may be instructed to collect the debt. At that stage the council generally takes no further part. Other data shows that the number of Appeals per officer employed remained fairly static, indicating a consistent approach to enforcement across the team.
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Financial On - Street Parking Income and Expenditure Account for Colchester Borough Council
Agency - On-Street 2006/07 Actuals £ 431,783 224,666 -68,838 587,611 710,708 620,383 2007/08 Actuals £ 480,759 229,949 2008/09 Actuals £ 397,591 222,793 Comments

INCOME Penalty Charges (PCN's) Parking Permits/Season Tickets Other - as specified: 1. Write-off of unpaid PCNs included in debtor raised at 31.03.2006 - no longer enforceable Total Income EXPENDITURE DIRECT COSTS Clothing, Uniforms and Laundry Printing, Postage & Stationery Equipment, Tools and Materials Signs and Lines Maintenance Pay and Display or Other Equipment Maintenance Cash collection Management Fee (to ECC) Pay Back of Start up Costs/1st Year Acceptable Deficits (to ECC) Parking IT System Other- as Specified 1. Head of Service Support Costs 2. Parking Services Management Costs 3. Publicity re Civil Parking Enforcement 4. Parking Enforcement Costs 5. Parking Systems Costs 6. Capital Charges Total Direct Costs INDIRECT COSTS (reapportioned costs) SUPPORT SERVICES Office Accommodation Financial Services Cashiers Human Resources Information, Communications and Technology Other - as specified: 1. Administration Support 2. Corporate Services 3. Customer Service Centre 4. Executive Management Team 5. Internal Audit 6. Legal Services 7. Fleet Costs 8. Estates Total Indirect Costs Total Expenditure SURPLUS/(DEFICIT) FOR THE YEAR SURPLUS/(DEFICIT) B/FWD SURPLUS/(DEFICIT) C/WD

10,008 1,727 -

811 3,246 6,240

6,470 10,996 2,957 3,710

3,172 53,280

3,260 53,280

3,354 7,505 2,583

5,879 594,768

668,834

10,708 432 360,999 184,190 14,170 637,336

12,162 1,038 320,942 248,959 13,441 634,117

Charged directly to on-street account Costs of PA/CEO and Supervisors Costs of back-office support for parking enforcement Decrim equipment & penalty ticket machines

7,430 11,324 6,034 3,743 36,594 7,529 12,352 18,365 1,005 867 1,409

11,979 13,161 2,670 8,136 21,434

38,876 12,641 2,894 7,213 19,363

5,256 27,089 1,409 1,543 1,110 6,573 100,360 737,696 -26,988 115,722 88,734

106,652 775,486 -187,875 303,599 115,724

2,276 26,633 3,110 802 1,265 14,463 60,737 190,274 824,390 -204,007 88,733 -115,274 remainder of balance sheet reserve debtor for decrim deficit to be reimbursed by ECC

Three financial years’ data are given here in order to illustrate recent trends. Direct costs of providing the service have decreased over these years from £0.67M to £0.63M. Income has fluctuated over the years.

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More information about PCNs
Cancelled cases

The top percentages, and number of cases for the most commonly selected “stop recovery” actions in the last year, and the reasons for them, Issues/grounds of appeal at informal and formal representation stage. Stages of under ½% are not shown.
Cancelled – PA Error Cancelled – Not Issued By Officer Cancelled – Pay and Display Cancelled – PA Registration entry mismatch Cancelled – Foreign Vehicle Cancelled – Valid Permit Cancelled – General Reason Cancelled – Disabled Badge Holder Cancelled – Vehicle Drove Away Cancelled – Test Notice (used to set time) 86 109 116 124 129 156 177 329 374 1063 0.5% 0.6% 0.6% 0.7% 0.7% 0.9% 1.0% 1.8% 2.1% 5.9%

Write Off - Untraceable Write Off - Bailiff Untraceable Debt Collectors - Sent to bailiff TEC - Warrant Prior Review Stage TEC - Selected For Debt Registration Payment - Accept Part Payment Payment - Full Payment Received

Written off and Paid cases

The percentage (of all cases) which were written off, and the reasons for this, and the number of cases paid.
Cancelled - PA Error

Write Off – Untraceable Write Off – Bailiff Untraceable Debt Collectors – Sent to Bailiff A Debt Collectors – Sent to Bailiff B TEC – Warrant Prior Review Stage TEC – Selected For Debt Registration Payment – Accept Part Payment Payment – Full Payment Received

123 129 242 245 318 332 478 12690

0.7% 0.7% 1.3% 1.4% 1.8% 1.8% 2.6% 70.3%

Cancelled - Not Issued By Officer Cancelled - Pay and Display Cancelled - PA Error, Incorrect Registration Cancelled - Foreign Vehicle Cancelled - Valid Permit Cancelled - General Reason Cancelled - Disabled Badge Holder Cancelled – VDA Cancelled - Test Notice

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PCNs Issued
2008/09 streets where most PCNs were issued
High Street Crouch Street Head Street Vineyard Street Car Park Priory Street Car Park West Stockw ell Street Middleborough Car Park North Hill Sheepen Road Car Park North Station Road St Nicholas Street Coast Road, West Mersea Oxford Road, Colchester Butt Road Car Park Bergholt Road High Street Crouch Street Vineyard Street Car Park Head Street Priory Street Car Park North Hill West Stockw ell Street Balkerne Passage Middleborough Car Park St Nicholas Street Culver Street East Butt Road Car Park St Botolphs Car Park Castle Bailey Bergholt Road

2007/08 streets where most PCNs were issued

These graphs show the locations where most PCNs were issued in 2007/08 and 2008/09. There has been little change in the locations that most PCNs have been issued. The following graph shows PCN issue rate over time showing financial years 2007/08 and 2008/09.
2500

financial year 2007/08 2000

financial year 2008/09

1500

1000

500

0 May May May Nov Nov Jul Jul Feb Feb Jan Jun Jul Aug Aug Aug Sep Sep Dec Dec Sep Feb Jan Jan Jun Jun Oct Oct Mar Mar Mar Apr Apr Apr

2007

2008

2009

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PCNs by contravention

The type of contravention for which the ten most common PCN types were issued each year is shown here. 2007/08 is the inner data set. 2008/09 the outer set. The proportion of PCNs issued in permit bays was higher in 2007/08 but otherwise the information suggests a similar pattern of contravention and consistent PCN issuing. The permit bays contravention was replaced by different contravention codes by new legislation for 2008/09. Parked in a Restricted Street relates to yellow lines.

Parked in a Restricted Street during prescribed hours

2008/09

Parked in a Permit Place w ithout valid permit Parked in Disabled Bay w ithout a badge Car Parks: Parked w ith no ticket on display Parked longer than permitted

2007/08

Parked w here no parking or loading permitted Car Parks: Still parked after expiry of ticket Wrong class of vehicle for the parking bay Parked in bus stop

Parked in loading bay not loading

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Statistical information for Bus Lane and Moving Traffic PCNs

It is not required to report on these since this council does not undertake any of the enforcement described.

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Other Relevant References
Documents

Department for Transport: Guidance on the inspection and enforcement of blue badges for police, traffic wardens, local authority parking attendants, civil enforcement officers and issuing local authorities. Code of Practice for Traffic Enforcement Centre, Northampton; CCTV user group; and so on. Special Report: Parking Enforcement by Local Authorities. Advice and Guidance from the Local Government Ombudsmen. December 2004. A Review of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement for the British Parking Association by Richard Childs, June 2005.
Glossary

BPA British Parking Association CPE Civil Parking Enforcement CEO Civil Enforcement Officer OG Operational Guidance PEP Colchester Parking Enforcement Policy POP Colchester Parking Service Operational Protocols PCN Penalty Charge Notice SG Statutory Guidance RTA1991 Road Traffic Act 1991 – superseded by TMA2004 on 31/03/2008 RTRA1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 TMA2004 Traffic Management Act 2004

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Web Site www.colchester.gov.uk/parking

Colchester is British Parking Association

a

member

of

the

End Notes and Sources

i

‘The Secretary of State’s Statutory Guidance to Local Authorities on the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions’, DfT, February 2008. This guidance is issued under section 87 of the TMA. Under section 87, local authorities must have regard to the information contained in the guidance.

ii

Operational Guidance to Local Authorities: Parking Policy and Enforcement’, DfT, March 2008 (Second impression

with minor amendments - May 2008).

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