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Annual Report

on
Civil Parking Enforcement
for
The London Borough of Havering

2008-2009
Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

Contents

Section Description Page

Introduction 3
1

2 Purpose and Scope of Annual Report 3

3 Parking Policy 4

4 Changes in Civil Parking Enforcement 4

5 Parking Services 6

6 Car Parks 12

7 On-Street Parking 14

8 Parking Administration 14

9 Financial Information 14

10 Glossary 17

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

1. Introduction

The legislative framework for Local Authorities to carry out Civil Parking Enforcement
changed on the 31st March 2008 from the Road Traffic Act 1991 to the Traffic
Management Act 2004 part 6 (Referred to in this document as the Traffic Management
Act 2004). The Traffic Management Act 2004 was introduced to improve the public
perception of parking enforcement by providing greater consistency of the parking
regulations across the country and providing a fairer and more transparent system.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 required a number of changes to Civil Parking
Enforcement practice, which covers: the documentation, the processing of Penalty
Charge Notices and the terminology used. It also placed additional responsibilities on
Local Authorities to publish information concerning their parking enforcement, including
this publication, the Annual Traffic Management Act 2004 Civil Parking Enforcement
Report.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 guidance requires Local Authorities to regularly
review parking policies for their highways and car parks, Civil Parking Enforcement
regimes and associated regulatory framework. For this reason the most up to date
versions of the Council’s documents can be viewed on the Council’s website.
www.havering.gov.uk/parking

2. Purpose and Scope of Annual Report

The Council is committed to operating its Civil Parking Enforcement Operation in a fair
and consistent manner. It is also committed to being transparent about the parking and
enforcement activities for which it is accountable and intends to publish a consistent set
of statistical and financial information each year. This includes the number of penalty
charge notices it issues, the income and expenditure on its ‘parking account’ and how
any parking surplus is spent.

The Council will also publish other information concerning the processing of Penalty
Charge Notices, such as the number paid or cancelled. All of this information is

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

contained in this Council’s first formal Annual Report, which is required to be published
by the end of September 2009. The Annual Report sets out the performance of the Civil
Parking Enforcement operation for the period 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009.

3. Parking Policy
Parking policy objectives are set out fully in the Enforcement Protocol and a summary is
set out below. They are framed against the background of the Council’s aim to
encourage sustainable ways of traveling and improve accessibility as far as practicable,
and to seek to make movements safer for everybody, especially vulnerable road users
including pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

Demand for on-street parking can at times outstrip the supply of available kerb space
and the Council seeks to maintain an active balance between the different demands –
from residents, their visitors, businesses and their deliveries and customers, as well as
access for disabled people, etc. This also needs to be balanced with the network
management duty on the Council to smooth traffic flows, keep traffic moving, the need
avoid unsafe and obstructive parking and the need to facilitate access for essential
vehicles, e.g. emergency services and deliveries.

In addition to improving the efficiency of our roads network, the Council is looking to
minimize the wider impact of traffic on air quality and climate change.

4. Changes in Civil Parking Enforcement


In December 2007, prior to the introduction the Traffic Management Act 2004 on the
31st March 2008, the Department for Transport issued Statutory Guidance to Local
Authorities undertaking Civil Parking Enforcement. The guidance set out how
enforcement should be approached, undertaken and reviewed. Operational Guidance
was subsequently issued by the Department for Transport in March 2008 and this
detailed the policy context more fully. The regulations came into effect on the 31st March
2008 and a smooth transition to the Traffic Management Act 2004 was then
successfully implemented.

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

The Traffic Management Act requires that parking policies, Civil Parking Enforcement
regimes and the associated regulatory framework should regularly be monitored. This
monitoring will assist with determining the:

™ Adequacy, accuracy and quality of signs and lines;


™ Demand and pricing for on and off-street parking places;
™ Impact on traffic flow;
™ Levels of enforcement necessary for compliance with parking and traffic objectives;
™ Public satisfaction with the service;
™ Validity of Traffic Orders and whether restrictions continue to be required or need
amending.

The Traffic Management Act and the Statutory Guidance required the following key
changes to be made prior to the implementation of the Act:

™ Additional training requirements for all those operationally involved with Civil Parking
Enforcement (equivalent to a level 2 nationally accredited qualification);
™ Rebranding of Parking Attendants to Civil Enforcement Officers, requiring change to
uniforms and the respective updates to all policies, procedures, manuals and any
other parking related documentation/literature;
™ Requirements for Civil Enforcement Officers to be Criminal Record Bureau checked
if they are working near schools or in sensitive areas.

The Traffic Management Act also strengthened the process of issuing a Penalty Charge
Notice through the following ways:

™ Allowing Penalty Charge Notices to be served by post where the actions of a


motorist prevents a Civil Enforcement Officer from being able to issue the Penalty
Charge Notice through either affixing it to the vehicle or handing it to the motorist;
™ Allowing Penalty Charge Notices to be served by post where a motorist drives off
before a Penalty Charge Notice can be served through either affixing it to the
vehicle, or handing it to the driver;

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

™ Providing powers to inspect disabled persons’ ‘blue’ badges.

The Traffic Management Act also brought about a number of changes to the process for
considering informal challenges, formal representations and independent appeals. This
included the following:

™ Allowing Independent Adjudicators, at appeal, to refer valid Penalty Charge Notices


back to the Local Authority for reconsideration if they consider that there were
mitigating circumstances;
™ Amendments to standard letters to reflect changes in terminology and to provide
improved information;
™ Limiting the determination of the validity of Penalty Charge Notices to authorised
officers who have completed appropriate training;
™ Maximum time limits set for responding to all types of informal and formal challenges
and or representations;
™ Providing a range of payment facilities and allowing for late payments in the event of
postal delays;
™ Use of first class post for all recovery documents;
™ Varying the discount period by method of Penalty Charge Notice service and for
making allowances for Bank Holidays and other non postal days.

5. Parking Services

The Council’s Parking Services are provided in-house, that is to say that the Council
does not contract out parking enforcement, enforcement processing or its car parking
operations. The Council employs 17 Civil Enforcement Officers, trained to the required
City & Guilds national qualification standard in parking enforcement and management to
carry out such enforcement on the public highway and in its own public car parks car
parks. However, enforcement within privately owned car parks is not managed or
undertaken by the Council but instead is the responsibility of the owner of such facilities.

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

Enforcement is undertaken using various methodologies such as foot patrols, motorized


scooters and mobile CCTV units. Those mobile CCTV units have been certified by the
Vehicle Certification Agency as “Approved Devices” as per the requirement of the
Traffic Management Act 2004.

A future enhancement to mobile CCTV operations will be the deployment of Automatic


Number Plate Recognition systems to be used in partnership with the Metropolitan
Police Service and other StreetCare services in the areas of abandoned, untaxed and
uninsured vehicles.

All Civil Enforcement Officers are uniformed and they all carry ID at all times. Although it
is not a mandatory requirement, Civil Enforcement Officers make detailed written notes
of circumstances surrounding all Penalty Charge Notices issued and where possible,
obtain supporting evidence including photographs. Where mobile CCTV enforcement is
carried out written notes are also made in addition to mandatory video recording of the
alleged contravention being made.

Written notes, photographs and video footage assist greatly when a recipient of a
Penalty Charge Notice wishes to make a challenge and they also help Council officers
to correctly apply appropriate mitigation to a Penalty Charge Notice case where
necessary.

Civil Enforcement Officers patrol set beats in order to manage parking in controlled
parking zones and school areas to help maintain the general free flow of traffic.

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

However, they are also deployed to carry out ad-hoc patrols to meet public requests for
enforcement and to help deal with sporadic localised parking problems.

The performance of Civil Enforcement Officers is measured on the quality of the service
they provide and how well they assist in meeting the objectives of Civil Parking
Enforcement. Historical information, regarding the area, time of day and seasonal
variation is used to assist with any assessment made. Specific targets for the issue of
Penalty Charge Notices are NOT set and the Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers are
not financially incentivised in any way. The London Borough of Havering is one of the
largest boroughs in London yet its Penalty Charge Notice issuing level is consistently
the lowest or second lowest of all the London boroughs. The Council’s primary parking
enforcement objectives are deterrence and compliance with parking controls and not
the simple act of revenue generation.

The Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers have a primary objective to undertake their
role in the most effective and efficient manner and to deal with the public in a sensitive,
courteous and professional way

The following table and five charts provide details of key parking enforcement statistics
for the period 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009. They represent a snap shot of that
period. It should be noted that due to the timescales associated with processing, some
Penalty Charge Notices cases may span reporting periods.

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Table 1 – Breakdown of the 41,454 PCNs issued between 1st April 2008 to 31st
March 2009.

Total PCN’s On Street Off Street CCTV Parking


(N.B. inc in columns to left)
Number of More Serious PCN’s issued 32,746 32,171 575 23,431
%age of More Serious PCN’s issued 78.99% 77.61% 1.39% 56.52%
Number of Less Serious PCN’s issued 8,708 3,952 4,756 183
%age of Less Serious PCN’s issued 21.01% 9.53% 11.47% 0.44%
Number of More Serious PCN’s full paid 1,232 1,191 41 495
%age of More Serious PCN’s full paid 2.97% 2.87% 0.10% 1.19%
Number of Less Serious PCN’s full paid 729 382 347 1
%age of Less Serious PCN’s full paid 1.76% 0.92% 0.84% 0.00%
Number of More Serious PCN’s 19,842 19,515 327 14,534
discount paid
%age of More Serious PCN’s
discount paid 47.87% 47.08% 0.79% 35.06%
Number of Less Serious PCN’s 5,014 2,407 2,607 108
discount paid
%age of Less Serious PCN’s
discount paid 12.10% 5.81% 6.29% 0.26%
Number of More Serious PCN's 1,175 1,152 23 841
surcharge paid
%age of More Serious PCN's surcharge
paid 2.83% 2.78% 0.06% 2.03%
Number of Less Serious PCN's 261 158 103 5
surcharge paid
%age of Less Serious PCN's surcharge
paid 0.63% 0.38% 0.25% 0.01%
Number of PCN’s against which an 13,226 Data split by category is not available
informal or formal representation made
%age of PCN’s against which an
informal or formal representation made 31.91%
Number of PCN’s cancelled as a result 3,803 Data split by category is not available
of an informal or formal representation
%age of PCN’s cancelled as a result of
an informal or formal representation 9.17%
Number of PCN’s written off 399 366 33 187
%age of PCN’s written off 0.96% 0.88% 0.08% 0.45%
Number of appeals to adjudicator 588 569 19 471
%age of appeals to adjudicator 1.42% 1.37% 0.05% 1.14%
Number of appeals refused 151 149 2 125
%age of appeals refused 0.36% 0.36% 0.00% 0.30%
Number of appeals non-contested 123 117 6 91
%age of appeals non-contested 0.30% 0.28% 0.01% 0.22%
Number of vehicles immobilized 23
Number of vehicles removed 14
Note 1: All percentages shown are a percentage of the TOTAL number of PCNs issued

Note 2: All figures are based on PCNs issued in the 08/09 financial year. Payments, appeals and
write-offs relate to PCNs issued in FY 08/09 with statistics covering the period to 01 July 09.
Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

Chart 1 – Breakdown of the location of Penalty Charge Notices issued between 1st
April 2008 and 31st March 2009. (Off street refers to Penalty Charge Notices issued in
one of the Council’s 25 car parks).

Chart 2 – Most common contraventions based on Penalty Charge Notices issued


between 1st April 2008 and 31st March 2009.

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

Chart 3 – Breakdown of paid Penalty Charge Notices issued between 1st April
2008 and 31st March 2009.

4%
4%
18%

3% Less Serious Discounted Payment


1%
Less Serious Full Payment
Less Serious Surcharge Payment
More Serious Discounted Payment
More Serious Full Payment
More Serious Surcharge Payment

70%

Chart 4 – 13,226 Representations received related to Penalty Charge Notices


issued between 1st April 2008 to 31 March 2009.

4%

28%
Representations Allowed
Representations Refused
Appeals
68%

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

Chart 5 – Outcome of appeals related to Penalty Charge Notices issued between


1st April 2008 to 31 March 2009.

16% 21%
Appeals Allowed
Appeals Refused
Appeals Withdrawn
Appeals Ongoing
37% 26%

6. Car Parks

The Council is committed to enhancing the safety and security of its car parks.
Improvements have been undertaken in a number of Council car parks and are on-
going in a number of others. Works undertaken have included the installation of Closed
Circuit TV (CCTV), emergency help points, improved lighting, security fencing, improved
internal decoration, layout changes, resurfacing and up-dated signing. These works
have culminated in five of the Council’s car parks being awarded the Safer Parking
Award (Park Mark). The award is prestigious and is managed on behalf of the
Association of Chief Police Officers by the British Parking Association. The awards are
reviewed annually and standards must be maintained to retain the awards.

The Council is currently carrying out improvement


works at seven additional car parks to ready them for
Park Mark assessments and subsequent award
during 2009/10.

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

As part of its commitment to enhancing Romford Town Center and to continue its
regeneration, the Council has introduced numeric variable message signing around
central Romford. This system indicates to motorists the availability of car parking
spaces at various car parks in the town. The car parks on the system are both Council
and privately operated facilities. An enhancement to the system has been made with the
installation of a text based variable message sign on Rom Valley Way. This sign is
capable of displaying messages advising motorists of events sensitive to traffic,
congestion or national safety campaign messages. The variable message system also
extends to the internet and web users can log on to the Council’s web pages to see a
virtual map of Romford showing the numerical and text signs and advising users of
projected parking space availability for the coming hours and the text messages
appearing on the Rom Valley Way sign.

The Council currently operates 24 surface car parking facilities, 23 of which are pay and
display and 1 pay on exit. The Council also operates 1 multi-storey car park which uses
a pay terminal system commonly known as ‘pay on foot’. The pay and display facilities
utilise a variety of battery powered solar charged and conventional mains electric pay
and display machines. It is intended to replace pay and display machines with battery
powered solar charged machines as and when obsolescence occurs. The pay on foot
system at the Angel Way multi-storey car park has become obsolete and is scheduled
to be replaced in October 2009.

The Council is currently exploring options to install during 2010/11, with funding from
Transport for London, electric car charging points in Romford to encourage the use of
such vehicles.

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

7. On-Street Parking

On-Street parking facilities have been enhanced across the borough through the
provision of resident permit parking and pay and display parking schemes. The
periphery of Romford Town Center also benefits from the provision of on-street parking
meters. Additionally, across the borough, where a location has been assessed as being
safe and appropriate footway parking provision has been provided.

8. Parking Administration

The administration of all aspects of the parking service, including the issuing of parking
permits, visitor permits, blue badges, parking waivers and parking enforcement
processing, including informal challenges and formal representations against the issuing
of Penalty Charge Notices and subsequent management of parking representations
made to the independent adjudicator, are carried out by qualified teams of staff
employed directly by the Council.

9. Financial Information
The Statutory Guidance provides that for good governance, enforcement authorities
need to forecast revenue in advance, however raising revenue should not be the
objective of Civil Parking Enforcement, nor may the authority set targets for revenue or
the number of Penalty Charge Notices issued.

The purpose of penalty charges is to dissuade motorists from contravening parking


restrictions. Payments received must only be used in accordance with section 55 (as
amended) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. This Act limits the purposes to
which a local authority may spend any surplus resulting from income derived from on
street parking spaces. This was however, amended by the Traffic Management Act and
restrictions relaxed to permit any surplus to be used for other purposes for which the
authority lawfully incurs expenditure.

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

The following four tables set out the income and expenditure for the year 2008/09 and
details the use of the surplus income which has been used in accordance with the
regulations.

Table 1 - Total Parking Income Account (£000s)

On Street fees and charges:

On Street Pay and Display 40


On Street Parking Meters 75
On Street Permits and Disc Schemes 205

Other Income
Grants and Contributions 5

Total 325

Off Street fees and charges:

Income including Season Tickets 1,016


Rent 46

Total 1,062

Penalty Charge Income:

Income 1,662
Less Refunds to Penalty Charges Cancelled (11)

Total 1,651

Total Income 3,038

Table 2 - Total Expenditure (£000s)

On Street 1,910
Off Street 966

Total Expenditure 2,876

Table 3 - Surplus / Deficit (£000s)

Total Surplus 162

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

Table 4 - Application of Fund Surplus towards the following schemes (£000s)

1. Capital Expenditure (£000s) at 31st March 2009

- On Street Parking Schemes 145

2. Revenue Budget (£000s) at 31st March 2009

- Highways maintenance 200


- Car Parks Reserve 7

Total 207

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10. ANNUAL REPORT GLOSSARY


The glossary below, which is in alphabetical order, explains some terms and phrases in
the Annual Report that may be unfamiliar.

CANCELLATIONS
A Penalty Charge Notice is cancelled when reviewing the Council’s Discretion Policy,
we consider that sufficient grounds have been established or we have been directed by
an Adjudicator. The case is closed without accepting payment.

CHALLENGE
A challenge is an objection made against a Penalty Charge Notice before the issue of a
Notice to Owner.

CIVIL ENFORCEMENT AREA


This is an area in which most on-street parking contraventions have been
decriminalised. The area is established by a Highway Authority to enable the Local
Authority’s Civil Enforcement Officers to enforce parking regulations.

CIVIL ENFORCEMENT OFFICER


Civil Enforcement Officer were formerly known as Parking Attendants, they may be
employed directly by the Council or through a specialist contractor. Civil Enforcement
Officer is the designated name given by the Traffic Management Act 2004 to those
Officers engaged by Councils to issue Penalty Charge Notices.

CONTRAVENTION
A contravention is failure by a motorist to comply with parking regulations.

CONTROLLED PARKING ZONE (CPZ)


This is an area where parking is restricted during certain times of the day. The main aim
of a Controlled Parking Zone is to ensure that parking spaces within the zone are
managed to balance the needs of residents and other motorists. In a Controlled Parking

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Zone the restrictions are shown by signs placed on all vehicular entry points to the
zone. Signs are only required within the zone where the restrictions are different from
those on the entry signs. There will not usually be a sign for a yellow line where the
restrictions are the same as on the entry signs.

DECRIMINALISED
In 1993/4, parking enforcement was decriminalised across all of the London
Boroughs including the London Borough of Havering. This means that it is no longer
illegal to park in breach of the regulations. Enforcement of most of the on-street parking
regulations is now the sole responsibility of the Local Authority rather than of the Police.
Non-compliance is treated as a Civil Contravention rather than a criminal offence.
Ultimately unpaid Penalty Charge Notices are pursued by debt collection agencies,
rather than through the criminal courts.

DIFFERENTIAL PARKING PENALTIES


This is the name given to the changes in the levels of charging for penalties
implemented in London on 1st July 2007 and the rest of the Country on 31st March 2008
to make the system fairer. Higher level charges apply to contraventions that are
considered to be More Serious and Lower level charges apply to contraventions that are
considered to be Less Serious.

MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK


A multi-storey car park is a building that has a number of floors or levels designed
specifically for vehicle parking.

NOTICE TO OWNER
A Notice to Owner is a statutory notice served by the Local Authority to the person they
believe is the owner of a vehicle issued with a Penalty Charge Notice. This notice is
served where a penalty issued by a CEO remains unpaid after 28 days. Within 28 days
of the Notice to Owner, the owner is required to either:
• make payment of the full penalty charge; or
• make representations against liability for the charge.

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

OFF-STREET PARKING
Off-street parking facilities are those within car parks.

ON-STREET PARKING
On-street parking facilities are those by the kerb side permitted footway parking areas.

ORDER FOR RECOVERY OF UNPAID PENALTY CHARGE


This is an order for recovery of an unpaid penalty charge which has been registered
with the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC). TEC is currently situated at the County
Court in Northampton and is the centre where unpaid penalty charges are registered as
debts at the County Court. This is an automated process, not requiring, or allowing an
appearance by any party and once registration has taken place, the debt can be passed
to a Bailiff for collection of the outstanding monies.

PAY AND DISPLAY


Pay and Display is a method of payment for parking in a car park bay whereby on
arrival the motorist parks in a parking space, goes to a Pay and Display Machine and
pays for their length of stay and clearly displays their Parking Ticket.

PAY ON FOOT
Pay on foot is a method of payment for parking in a car park bay whereby on arrival the
motorist stops at the barrier, takes a ticket and parks their car. On leaving, the motorist
inserts the ticket in a pay station and pays the parking charge. The motorist then takes
back the ticket, drives to the barrier, inserts the ticket and the barrier lifts for exit. There
is a grace period of 15 minutes between the customer paying for their parking and
exiting the car park.

PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE


This is a notice issued because a vehicle has allegedly contravened a parking
regulation. A Penalty Charge Notice must contain certain information, including a
description of the contravention alleged to have occurred.

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Annual Report on Civil Parking Enforcement for The London Borough of Havering

REGISTERED KEEPER
This is the person or organisation recorded at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
(DVLA) as being the keeper of a vehicle. Under the concept of owner liability, the
registered keeper is presumed to be the owner of the vehicle for the purposes of
enforcement, appeal and debt recovery action.

REPRESENTATION
A representation is a challenge against a Penalty Charge Notice after a Notice to
Owner has been issued.

SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT AREA


A Special Enforcement Area has the same physical boundary as a Civil Enforcement
Area, accept it allows the enforcement of Double Parking and Dropped Footway.

WRITE-OFFS
A Penalty Charge Notice is written-off when the Local Authority is unable to pursue the
penalty and closes the case without accepting payment. This is usually when the DVLA
has no information about the registered keeper, or even after a bailiff company has
attempted to collect the debt without success.

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