Moves to tackle 'worst examples' of problem parking in Huntingdonshire
- Credit: ARCHANT
One of the most frequent concerns that any councillor hears from residents is the lack of on-street (yellow line) parking enforcement.
Although Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) looks after its own off-street car parks and some on-street pay and display parking for the county council, all other parking enforcement is the responsibility of the police.
However, the demand on police resources means that parking issues often don’t receive the attention that residents expect.
Councils can seek permission from the Government to adopt powers for what is known as civil parking enforcement (CPE), where parking offences are decriminalised and subsequently enforced by councils instead.
It has has been considered a number of times over the years and discounted for either practical or financial reasons but when I became leader of HDC I pledged that we would look at it again as a priority in light of the ongoing issues across Huntingdonshire.
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In doing so, we have accepted that the police are realistically unlikely to dedicate enough resource to deal with this problem to a standard that our residents expect and the council’s cabinet has now formally agreed to progress CPE.
We will work with Cambridgeshire County Council to apply to the Department for Transport and if approved, all on-street parking in Huntingdonshire’s towns and villages will, in the future, be enforced by HDC.
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Although I’m sure it won’t be universally popular, especially when tickets start being issued more frequently, taking on CPE ourselves will enable the council to tackle the worst examples of problem parking in every part of Huntingdonshire.
It will also have a significant effect on the future success of our town centres. As we deliver tens of millions of pounds of investment into our market towns over the next few years, and as local residents redefine what they want from their town centres the last thing we need is the blight of inconsiderate or illegal parking wherever you turn.
One of the most frequent comments I hear is that the council could make a lot of money out of CPE, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Big cities often generate surpluses but in a large rural district such as ours it’s a very different situation. CPE will cost the council money to deliver but we believe it’s the right thing to do to free up police resources, meet residents’ expectations and help our town centres succeed.