This article needs to be updated.(November 2014)
Decriminalised parking enforcement (DPE) is the name given in the United Kingdom to the civil enforcement of car parking regulations, carried out by civil enforcement officers, operating on behalf of a local authority. The Road Traffic Act 1991 (c. 40) provided for the decriminalisation of parking-related contraventions committed within controlled parking zones (CPZ) administered by local councils across the UK. The CPZs under the control of the local councils are also referred to as yellow routes and they can be easily identified with yellow lines marked on the roads with relevant time plates. Councils employ parking attendants to enforce their CPZs directly.
The chief rationale behind this provision within the Act was, amongst other reasons, to make sure people didn't end up being criminalised for car parking offences, like one may potentially become with some driving offences. However, some parking offences can still be enforced by the police with fines, failure to comply with which could lead to criminal proceedings and even the adding of points on the driving licence of the offender. Such parking offences enforced by police traffic wardens are parking contraventions committed in red routes (red routes are usually identified with red lines marked on the roads with the relevant time plates). Police traffic wardens can also enforce parked vehicles on pedestrian zig-zags/crossings, whether committed on red or yellow routes.
With increasing problems of town centre congestion, and demand for on-street parking, coupled with the pressures on police resources, and the low priority given by some police forces to the enforcement of parking regulations, the Road Traffic Act 1991 permitted local authorities to apply for the legal powers to take over the enforcement of on-street, as well as off-street, car parking regulations from the police, in return they would be allowed to keep the proceeds. Thus in areas where DPE has been granted, parking offences cease to be criminal offences.
Without DPE, fixed penalties (not fines, because the recipient can exercise their right to a Court hearing instead) from the issue of parking tickets by the police is collected by Fixed Penalty Offices (each of which is part of a local Magistrates' Court in each county or metropolitan area) and passed directly to central government. With DPE in place, the local authority retains the income generated from parking penalties to finance parking enforcement and certain other activities such as local transport measures. Local authorities have been able to charge for on-street parking since 1958, but without the effective enforcement provided by DPE, such charging was of limited effect. Local authorities adopting DPE generally employ contractors to run their scheme.
The powers granted by DPE to deal with parking offences include:
Appeals against council decisions on PCNs can be made to the London Tribunals (formerly the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service, PATAS) in London, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) in England and Wales, the Scottish Parking Appeals Service in Scotland and the Northern Ireland Traffic Penalty Tribunal in Northern Ireland. These bodies are tribunals established under DPE; appeals against their decisions can generally be made only on points of law, through judicial review. They are independent of the councils, albeit being funded by them in England and Wales through a fee of 60p per PCN issued. In Northern Ireland the Tribunal is operated by the Northern Ireland Court Service and all PCNs are issued by the Department for Regional Development as opposed to local councils.
Local authorities raise more than £1 billion a year from parking fines.Some of the money raised goes into the costs of operating the system. Local authorities must report their income from parking fines and charges and must also state what any surplus is spent on. Typically the revenue from such schemes (if lost parking fees from infringing motorists are excluded) is greater than the cost of running the scheme and the surplus goes into the public purse, along with the parking fee income. The surplus revenue is ring-fenced to be used for transport related expenditure unless the Council is judged to be 'excellent' by the Audit Commission, in which case the surplus goes into the Council's general budget (as is the case for Kensington and Chelsea ). In 2005/6 the City of Westminster received GBP 65.4 million in parking revenue for on-street parking. From one road in London, £3.2 million was raised in the year 2005-06.
Some councils have used, attempted to use or been accused of attempting to use parking enforcement as a source of revenue.
Claimed benefits for DPE include:[ citation needed ]
The summary of an inquiry into parking policy and enforcement by the Transport Committee of the House of Commonsstates:
In addition to the main task of introducing a unified system of parking enforcement in Britain, we have found that the following action is required:
- Clear performance standards in applying parking restrictions must be established
- It must be made clearer to drivers what regulations are in force and how compliance is to be achieved
- Appropriate recruitment, remuneration and training is needed to ensure a professional parking service throughout the country
- The process for challenging penalty charge notices must be made much more transparent
- The impact of the parking adjudication service must be increased and its profile heightened
- Scrutiny of local authority parking departments is woefully inadequate and needs to be strengthened
- Local authorities must develop parking strategies which meet local objectives fully, focusing particularly on congestion, road safety and accessibility.
The London congestion charge is a fee charged on most cars and motor vehicles being driven within the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) in Central London between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm seven days a week.
Electronic toll collection (ETC) is a wireless system to automatically collect the usage fee or toll charged to vehicles using toll roads, HOV lanes, toll bridges, and toll tunnels. It is a faster alternative which is replacing toll booths, where vehicles must stop and the driver manually pays the toll with cash or a card. In most systems, vehicles using the system are equipped with an automated radio transponder device. When the vehicle passes a roadside toll reader device, a radio signal from the reader triggers the transponder, which transmits back an identifying number which registers the vehicle's use of the road, and an electronic payment system charges the user the toll. A major advantage is the driver does not have to stop, reducing traffic delays. Electronic tolling is cheaper than a staffed toll booth, reducing transaction costs for government or private road owners. The ease of varying the amount of the toll makes it easy to implement road congestion pricing, including for high-occupancy lanes, toll lanes that bypass congestion, and city-wide congestion charges. The payment system usually requires users to sign up in advance and load money into a declining-balance account, which is debited each time they pass a toll point.
The Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system is an electronic toll collection scheme adopted in Singapore to manage traffic by way of road pricing, and as a usage-based taxation mechanism to complement the purchase-based Certificate of Entitlement system.
A wheel clamp, also known as wheel boot, parking boot, or Denver boot, is a device that is designed to prevent motor vehicles from being moved. In its most common form, it consists of a clamp that surrounds a vehicle wheel, designed to prevent removal of both itself and the wheel.
A traffic ticket is a notice issued by a law enforcement official to a motorist or other road user, indicating that the user has violated traffic laws. Traffic tickets generally come in two forms, citing a moving violation, such as exceeding the speed limit, or a non-moving violation, such as a parking violation, with the ticket also being referred to as a parking citation, or parking ticket.
A parking enforcement officer (PEO), traffic warden, parking inspector/parking officer, or civil enforcement officer is a member of a traffic control department or agency who issues tickets for parking violations. The term parking attendant is sometimes considered a synonym but sometimes used to refer to the different profession of parking lot attendant.
London Streets is an arm of Transport for London (TfL) which is responsible for managing identified greatest through-routes in Greater London – 580 kilometres (360 mi) of roads. It was known as TfL Street Management for many years until the start of the 2007 fiscal year.
Fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were introduced in Britain in the 1950s to deal with minor parking offences. Originally used by police and traffic wardens, their use has extended to other public officials and authorities, as has the range of offences for which they can be used.
The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom, which provided powers to regulate or restrict traffic on UK roads, in the interest of safety. It superseded some earlier legislation, including the majority of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1967. The Act is split into 10 parts covering 147 sections, it also includes 14 schedules.
A disabled parking permit, also known as a disabled badge, disabled placard, handicapped permit, handicapped placard, handicapped tag, and "Blue Badge" in the European Union, is a permit that is displayed upon parking a vehicle. It gives the operator of a vehicle permission to special privileges regarding the parking of that vehicle. These privileges include parking in a space reserved for persons with disabilities, or, in some situations, permission to park in a time-limited space for a longer time, or to park at a meter without payment.
The police tribunal is the traffic court and trial court which tries minor contraventions in the judicial system of Belgium. It is the lowest Belgian court with criminal jurisdiction. There is a police tribunal for each judicial arrondissement ("district"), except for Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, where there are multiple police tribunals due to the area's sensitive linguistic situation. Most of them hear cases in multiple seats per arrondissement. As of 2018, there are 15 police tribunals in total, who hear cases in 38 seats. Further below, an overview is provided of all seats of the police tribunal per judicial arrondissement.
The Mersey Gateway Bridge is a toll bridge between Runcorn and Widnes in Cheshire, England, which spans the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal. The crossing, which opened in October 2017, has three traffic lanes in each direction and is approximately 1.5 km east (upstream) of the older Silver Jubilee Bridge. It forms part of a wider project to upgrade the infrastructure around the Mersey crossings that includes major civil engineering work to realign the road network, change and add tolling to the Silver Jubilee Bridge, and build new interchanges together with landscaping 9 km of highway.
A civil enforcement officer is a person employed to enforce parking, traffic and other restrictions and laws.
The Westminster motorcycle parking charge is a charge that Westminster Council makes for parking motorcycles in designated on-street and off-street motorcycle parking bays in the City of Westminster. It was introduced in August 2008 as an Experimental Order made under the authority of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Experimental Orders may not, under the Act, last for more than 18 months, but do not require the formal advertisement and objection procedures of permanent Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) made under the Act. In June 2009, Westminster Council gave notice that it was to turn this into a permanent Traffic Regulation Order.
A Controlled Parking Zone or CPZ is a specific type of parking restriction used in the United Kingdom that may be applied to a group of roads within the zone. The intended purpose of a CPZ is to reduce the clutter that can arise from erecting several signs that would otherwise convey the same information, such as a common time restriction sign adjacent to all the single yellow lines in the zone. A sign indicating the start of a CPZ typically states that there are parking, loading, weight or other restrictions between certain hours of operation.
An Administrative Monetary Penalty is a civil penalty imposed by a regulator for a contravention of an Act, regulation or by-law. It is issued upon discovery of an unlawful event, and is due and payable subject only to any rights of review that may be available under the AMP's implementing scheme. It is regulatory in nature, rather than criminal, and is intended to secure compliance with a regulatory scheme, and it can be employed with the use of other administrative sanctions, such as demerit points and license suspensions.
The Traffic Penalty Tribunal is a tribunal in the United Kingdom which manages appeals against penalty charge notices or PCNs, a form of civil penalty, for areas in England outside of London. It was created by statutary instrument to fulfil provisions of the Traffic Management Act 2004, it is partly responsible to the PATROL joint committee, a collection of local authorities responsible for enforcing PCNs who make use of the traffic penalty tribunals adjudication process.
The United Kingdom employs a number of measures to control parking on public highways. The main control is through signed bans on waiting or stopping such as clearways or yellow lines or through charging and time restriction schemes.