Department for Transport
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Plans to deter inconsiderate parking announced

Plans to deter inconsiderate parking announced

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (128) issued by The Government News Network on 29 July 2008

Plans to help councils tackle inconsiderate parking were outlined in a consultation published today by Transport Minister Rosie Winterton.

A new parking framework, introduced by the Department for Transport in March, gave councils in England the power to issue Penalty Charge Notices to motorists who park at dropped footways or double park.

Authorities in London have successfully used this tool for a number of years to help wheelchair users and those with prams manoeuvre on and off pavements. It has also helped deter motorists from blocking the road when parking.

To make the power more effective, DfT is today launching a consultation on plans to allow authorities outside London to enforce against these specific offences without having to indicate the restrictions with traffic signs or roads markings.

This will improve national consistency by bringing the rest of England in line with authorities in London where these restrictions do not have to be indicated with signs or markings. It will also help reduce street clutter.

Transport Minister, Rosie Winterton, said:

"Dropped footways are provided to help wheelchair users and those with powered mobility vehicles or prams get around easily and safely. They also allow residents to easily reach their garages or park on their driveways. The Highway Code says that you should not stop or park in such places and we believe placing of traffic signs and/or road markings to indicate these restrictions should not be necessary - as is the case in London.

"The same rules should apply to allow councils to enforce against double parking - a dangerous activity that causes an unnecessary obstruction of the road, putting all road users at risk.

"While we believe signs and markings are not necessary in these specific and restricted circumstances, we expect local authorities who want to use these powers to publicise their plans to do so. All other restrictions will continue to require clear signs and markings."

Welcoming the consultation, Keith Banbury, Chief Executive, British Parking Association, said:

"The BPA welcomes the Government's decision to consult on proposals to clarify the law regarding the enforcement of double parking and the obstruction of footway crossovers where this is undertaken by local authorities as part of civil parking enforcement. We must be absolutely sure that this power, which has been used in London for a number of years, is implemented in a fair and transparent way and this consultation will allow all stakeholders to comment on the application of these new rules across the rest of England."

Notes to editors

1. The introduction on 31 March 2008 of Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 allowed local authorities outside London to issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to motorists who park alongside dropped kerbs or more than 50cm from the kerb in a Special Enforcement Area.

2. Powers to enforce dropped footways and parking more than 50cms from the kerb have been available to local authorities in London since 2003 and 2000 respectively under local legislation.

3. The powers are not used as a matter of course but tend to be used when LAs are asked by local residents to do so (usually if they are blocked in).

4. DfT will be consulting for 12 weeks on an amendment to the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996. The amendment, if agreed by the responses to the consultation, will make it clear that English local authorities outside London with Civil Parking Enforcement powers can enforce the restriction on parking at a dropped kerb or more than 50cm from the kerb without a traffic sign or road marking specifically indicating the restriction.

5. Updated Operational Guidance to local authorities will emphasise the need to make to clear to the public that they plan to enforce these restrictions and set out the circumstances in which they will use them.

6. We expect the change to come into force next Spring.

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