MP calls for illegal parking clamp-down, as council makes civil enforcement plans
- Credit: Archant
The MP for South Cambridgeshire is calling on the district council to take over responsibility for parking enforcement from the police, after survey results suggest the majority of residents want a clamp down on illegal parking.
In response to a question posed by Anthony Browne’s Planning and Development survey in February, which received 2,944 responses from across the constituency, 71 per cent of residents indicated they wanted to see more enforcement against illegal parking, while 25 per cent indicated they are happy with current levels.
Currently, Cambridgeshire's police force maintains responsibility for enforcement activity in the district against illegal parking, which includes parking on double yellow lines and in restricted bays.
South Cambridgeshire district councillors have told the Crow they are working on plans alongside the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership to take over responsibility of parking enforcement.
Under Civil Parking Enforcement rules, the local authority can issue tickets when a vehicle appears not to be complying with notified rules and regulations.
Most local authorities have now taken some or all responsibility for parking enforcement in the country, including Cambridge City where Cambridgeshire County Council has responsibility for enforcement activity.
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Mr Browne has held discussions with Cambridgeshire’s Chief Constable, who told him police priorities do not allow for significant resources to tackle current levels of illegal parking.
He has also written in support of proposals by Cllr Dr Richard Williams, District Councillor for Newton, Thriplow and Whittlesford, who brought about a motion at a meeting of the full council in September last year seeking action from SCDC.
Mr Browne commented: “It is impossible to justify the lack of enforcement of parking laws across South Cambridgeshire.
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"Drivers know they can park anywhere and ignore all parking controls as they will never be fined. This causes particular problems around train stations and village high streets.
"If almost the entire rest of the country – including such rural areas as Northumbria and Norfolk – can make civil enforcement of parking work, I am sure our area can.
“My survey shows it is clear the overwhelming majority of voters are fed up and want a clamp down on illegal parking.
"The local authorities cannot ignore this, and have to act. If the new Cambridgeshire County Council administration is not willing to take on further responsibility, South Cambridgeshire District Council should be able to overcome the bureaucratic challenges to find a solution, perhaps learning the lessons from surrounding areas.
“I have long sought a debate on this issue, and stand ready to assist in any transition."
South Cambridgeshire District Council deputy leader Dr Aidan Van de Weyer - lead cabinet member for strategic planning and transport - has confirmed the council is working on plans for parking enforcement with the Greater Cambridge Partnership.
Cllr Van de Weyer - who represents Barrington, the Eversdens, Orwell and Wimpole on SCDC - said: “Illegal parking has been a problem for lots of our villages for many years now.
"That’s why we’re already working closely with the Greater Cambridge Partnership on plans for civil parking enforcement in South Cambridgeshire.
"This work, to be funded by the GCP, was discussed at the GCP’s Executive Board back in March. In the months ahead, we’ll be talking to communities to get the very latest insight into hotspots for illegal parking as we work towards introducing civil parking enforcement in the district.
"However, this is a legal process so is likely to take some time to get in place, but we’ll update residents as soon as we can.”
The Greater Cambridge Partnership is the local delivery body for a City Deal with central Government. It is made up of partnership of councils, business and academia who work together - and with partners and local communities - to grow and share prosperity and improve quality of life for the people of the Greater Cambridge area.
A GCP spokesperson said: “The Greater Cambridge Partnership is in discussions with Cambridgeshire County Council about the possibility of developing an application to Government for powers to undertake civil parking enforcement (CPE) in south Cambridgeshire.
“The GCP has offered to provide funding to undertake the necessary review of traffic orders and the associated work necessary to allow CPE to proceed. A proposal will be considered by councillors in due course.”
Is problem parking an issue where you live in South Cambs? Email details and your thoughts on the matter, to firstname.lastname@example.org.