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Annual Parking Enforcement Report

for The London Borough of Bexley


2008-2009

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Contents

1. Introduction Page 3
2. Purpose and Scope of Annual Report Page 3
3. Parking Policy Page 3
4. Enforcement Service Page 4
5. Performance Charts Page 5
6. Car Parks Page 8
7. Financial Information Page 8

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1. Introduction 2. Purpose and Scope of Annual
Report
Bexley ‘s Parking Services works to provide
safe and free moving travel throughout the This is the first formal annual report which
borough whilst ensuring there is sufficient aims to detail the key objectives for civil
parking facilities available for local parking enforcement, since the changes
businesses, residents and visitors. contained within the TMA and the move to a
Civil Parking Enforcement regime from a
On 31 March 2008 the legislative framework decriminalised one. A performance report
which governs how Local Authorities carry was published for year 2007/08 which is
out civil parking enforcement changed from available for comparison purposes and can
the Road Traffic Act 1991 to the Traffic be found at http://www.bexley.gov.uk/
Management Act 2004 (TMA) (part 6). CHttpHandler.ashx?id=1369&p=0
Significant sections of the Road Traffic Act
1991 were replaced by the TMA, since that The Council is committed to operating it’s
time the London Borough of Bexley has parking operation in a fair and consistent
continued to implement changes to improve manner. It is committed to being transparent
the quality of service provided to it’s about it’s parking and enforcement activities
customers and to meet the objectives of the for which it is accountable and intends to
TMA. publish a consistent set of statistical and
financial information each year. This includes
The TMA guidance requires London the number of penalty charges issued, the
boroughs to regularly review their parking income and expenditure on its ‘parking
policies, Civil Parking Enforcement regimes account’ and how any parking surplus is
and associated regulatory framework. When spent. The Council will also publish other
reviewing their Local Implementation Plans information regarding the processing of
(LIPs). Bexley’s first LIP (2006/7-2010/11) PCNs, such as the number paid and
was approved by the Mayor of London in cancelled.
January 2007. It included a Parking and
Enforcement Plan (PEP) setting out the 3. Parking Policy
Council’s parking policies and enforcement
regimes. The next LIP (LIP2) will be prepared Parking policy objectives are set out fully in
following the publication of the Mayor of the PEP, but in general terms the Authority
London’s revised Transport Strategy in late seeks to ensure that whilst demand for
2008 or early 2009. Transport for London parking in the Borough can at times outstrip
(TfL) will then need to produce guidance for the supply of kerb space available, the
the new LIP based on the new strategy. Council will seek to maintain an active
When the LIP is reviewed the PEP will be balance between the different demands –
updated including where necessary changes from residents, visitors, businesses,
to reflect the TMA. commercial deliveries, customers and
shoppers as well as special access groups
In the interim; given the changes related to such as the disabled and vulnerable etc. This
the TMA and in the interests of customer also needs to be balanced with the duty of
service, it is considered that more information the Council to keep traffic moving, preventing
should be published than contained within the and enforcing against unsafe and obstructive
existing PEP. For this reason an overview of parking, and making sure there is good
parking enforcement policy is available access for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and
through the Council’s W eb Site motorists.
www.bexley.gov.uk/service/parking/
index.htm. This has been in place since the Alongside this, is the aim of sustainability:
end of March 2008. In the future this overview restraining non essential traffic to achieve
will be consolidated as part of the boroughs efficient movements of essential vehicles
LIP and PEP, which will also be available to (e.g. emergency services and deliveries). It is
the public.
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essential to encourage people to move in the and seasonal variations is used to assist with
most efficient and sustainable ways possible. any assessment made. Specific targets for
To help achieve this conditions for walking, the issue of PCNs are not set, nor are CEOs
cycling and use of public transport, including offered any inducement or bonus payment
making these movements safer are a priority. based on the number of PCNs issued.
In addition to improving the efficiency of our
road network, the Council is looking to In line with the rest of London, differential
minimise the wider impact of traffic on air charges were introduced in Bexley on 1st
quality and climate change. July 2007. Since their introduction the penalty
charge issued is dependant on the category
4. Enforcement Service of contravention. There are two categories,
"More Serious" and "Less Serious". More
Approximately 25 Civil Enforcement Officers Serious contraventions, such as parking on
(CEOs) are employed to carry out civil yellow lines, on the pavement, on bus stops,
parking enforcement duties on behalf of the on zigzag markings etc, are issued at a
borough. They are deployed throughout the higher charge than the Less Serious ones,
borough as a whole. In addition, three Mobile such as over-staying on time purchased at a
in Car Camera Enforcement (MICE) vehicles meter, parking outside of a marked bay etc.
provide support concentrating resources Chart 4 shows a breakdown of PCNs issued
around poor parking practices at schools, in between more serious and less serious (or
bus stops and other parking “hot spots” in the higher and lower charge). The chart
borough. CEOs are uniformed and carry ID at demonstrates that the Council has
all times. concentrated it’s resources on addressing the
more serious contraventions within the
borough as these contraventions impact
significantly on the key performance
objectives of maintaining public safety and
keeping traffic flowing.
All PCNs are reduced by 50 per cent if paid
within a statutory discount period.

CEOs are required to make detailed notes of


all Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued
and where possible (although it is not a
mandatory requirement), obtain supportive
digital photographic evidence.
CEOs patrol set beats and are required to
meet a set frequency of visits within their
working day. They are also deployed to carry The following charts provide details of key
out ad-hoc patrols to meet public requests for civil parking enforcement statistics for the
enforcement and to help deal with localised period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009. They
parking problems. represent a snap shot of that period and it
should be noted that due to the timescales
The performance of CEOs is measured on associated with processing PCNs many
the quality of service they provide and how cases span across reporting periods.
well they assist in meeting the objectives of
civil parking enforcement. Historical
information, regarding the area, time of day
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Chart 1 – Breakdown of the 56,302 PCNs issued between 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009.
There has been a reduction of 13% on the previous year in the number of PCNs issued. In
addition, there has been an increase of 6% on the previous year in the number of PCNs paid.
These figures demonstrate an improvement in the quality of the PCNs issued and together with
the reduced number of PCNs which were outstanding as of 31 March 2009, shows an
improvement in the quality of the services offered overall. It should be noted that since 31 March
2009 many of the live PCNs would also have been resolved.

12%

16%
paid
Cancelled
Live @ 31/03/09

72%

Chart 2 – Breakdown of the location of PCNs issued between 1 April 2007 and 31 March
2008. Off street refers to PCNs issued in one of the Council’s 20 car parks. MICE refers to PCNs
issued by Mobile in Car Enforcement

13%

13%
On Street
Off Street
MICE

74%

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Chart 3 – Most common contraventions based on PCNs issued between 1 April 2008 and 31
March 2009. The remaining PCNs were issued across a further 27 contraventions

Contraventions 2008-2009

14000
12000
10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0
1

Single/Double Yellow Lines Footway Parking Resident Parking Bays


Restricted Bus Stop No P&D Car parks No P&D On Street
Expired P&D Car Parks Meter in Penalty Loading Bay
School Zig Zags Expired P&D On Street

Chart 4 – Breakdown of issued PCNs issued between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009 for
Serious and Less Serious Contraventions
The more serious contraventions include such areas as school and pedestrian zigzag markings,
waiting and loading restrictions and footway parking as shown in Chart 3. This demonstrates how
priority enforcement is given to those areas where road safety and traffic flow must be maintained.

23%

Serious
Less Serious

77%

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Chart 5 – 15,952 Representations received related to PCNs issued between 1 April 2008 to
31 March 2009.

2%

37%
Allowed
Refused
Appeals
61%

Chart 6 – Outcome of appeals related to PCNs issued between 1 April 2008 to 31 March
2009. It should be noted that only 1.71% of PCNs issued were appealed. ‘No contest’ cases are
those withdrawn by the Council prior to the appeal hearing usually because the motorist has
provided further (late) evidence to support their case which is accepted and the case closed. The
percentage of cases “refused” and the PCNs upheld has increased this year from 48% to
55%

13%

32%

Allowed Cases
Refused Cases
No Contest

55%

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6. Car Parks
The Council is committed to enhancing the safety and security of it’s car parks. Improvements
have been undertaken in a number of Council car parks including Closed Circuit TV (CCTV),
emergency help points, improved lighting, security fencing, internal decoration, layout changes
and up-dated signing. This has culminated in the Association Of Chief Police Officers and the
British Parking Association awarding the Council the prestigious Safer Parking Award for 16 of the
Council's car parks. These awards are reviewed annually and standards must be maintained to
retain the awards with annual inspections being undertaken.

The Council currently operates 20 car parks across the Borough. In all but one car park it is
necessary to purchase a pay and display ticket to use the facility. The other car park, in
Bexleyheath town centre is free for Blue Badge holders only.
A programme of further works is underway to improve safety in the car parks and where possible
to increase the number of spaces available. Capital funding has been given for refurbishment
works in the Cinema Car Park in Bexleyheath which will provide better CCTV, help points and
improve the existing lighting.

7. 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 encourage compliance by dissuading motorists from
contravening parking restrictions. London Councils set the penalty charges and the Council
parking charges so they are proportionate and reasonable.
Payments received (whether for on-street or off-street enforcement) 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 TMA and restrictions on Councils
that do not require further off-street parking was relaxed to permit any surplus to be used for other
purposes which the authority lawfully incurs expenditure.
The following 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.

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Total Parking Income Account (£000s)

Parking Fees 597

Penalty Charge Notices 2,456

Total Income 3,053

Total Expenditure 2,099

Surplus / Deficit (£000s) 954

Application of Fund Surplus towards the following schemes


(£000s)

Capital Expenditure at 31st March 2009

Controlled Parking 50

Surface Water Drainage (no external funding) 154

Highway Maintenance Structural (of Total Budget £1,332.000) 414

Town Centre Enhancements 23

Total 641

Revenue Budget (£000s)

Traffic and Road Safety Schemes Contractor Costs 345

Road Safety -
Special Campaigns 13

Training Schemes 4

School Travel Plans 38

Total 400