Decriminalised parking enforcement

Press Release


Decriminalised parking enforcement going live across Argyll and Bute on Monday 12th May 2014.

From Monday 12th May 2014 Argyll and Bute Council will be responsible for enforcing parking restrictions across the council area.

By assuming the responsibility for parking enforcement, the council will be able to ensure effective traffic management in our town centres.

This move is as a result of the police no longer employing traffic wardens.

Effective traffic management has a number of benefits, including supporting our local economy by ensuring parking turnover – helping our town centres remain vibrant.
Local enforcement will also safeguard access for Blue Badge holders, for deliveries, for loading and for emergency vehicles as well as ensuring road safety by managing inconsiderate and irresponsible parking.Local enforcement will keep Argyll and Bute moving.

The council will be employing six new amenity wardens to work alongside our current wardens to deliver parking enforcement across the council area.  They will patrol all areas of Argyll and Bute where parking restrictions are in force. These include, but are not limited to, areas with yellow lines, pay and display bays, loading and unloading areas, disabled bays, limited waiting areas and off-street parking areas.  Their role is matched to issues we know matter to our communities. As well as ensuring effective traffic management the wardens will also address issues of dog fouling and littering.

Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, Councillor Ellen Morton, said: ‘’I am pleased to see the council now assuming this responsibility. Parking is a big issue in our towns – it is maddening to see the same cars parked on the street for hours on end denying easy access for customers to local businesses.  With these new powers we will be able to keep Argyll and Bute moving.  We hope people will work with us to keep our town centres busy and presentable – if you park legally you won’t be fined. If you clear up after you dog, you won’t be fined. If you bin your litter, you won’t be fined.’’

From the go-live date first-time offenders will be issued with a warning notice rather than a penalty charge notice (PCN).  If vehicles park illegally following one of these warning notices, they are likely to receive a penalty charge notice.  Following this two week period (from Monday 26th May), all vehicles caught parking illegally will be issued with a PCN.

In line with national guidelines, the PCN is set at £60, to be paid within 28 days. If paid within 14 days, the charge is reduced to £30. If unpaid, the charge increases to £90. Unpaid PCNs could result in the council instructing sheriff officers to pursue recovery of the debt, which may incur additional costs.  If you receive a PCN, to avoid the debt increasing, it is best to pay early.  Penalty charges can be paid through the ‘pay it’ function on the council website, over the phone to our customer service centre, in person at any of our customer service points or via paypoint at a local shop.

For further information go to www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/parking


FAQ



What does decriminalised parking mean?
Decriminalised parking is the process where the council has taken over the responsibility for the enforcement of parking restrictions from the police. As such, parking offences are decriminalised.

If parking is decriminalised, can I park anywhere I like?
No.  With the council now having the power to enforce parking restrictions this means that you are much more likely to receive a penalty if you contravene the regulations.

Why is this good?
Local enforcement will keep Argyll and Bute moving.  By assuming the responsibility for parking enforcement, the council will be able to ensure effective traffic management.  Effective traffic management has a number of benefits, including supporting our local economy by ensuring parking turnover – helping our town centres remain vibrant, busy places.  Local enforcement will also safeguard access for Blue Badge holders, for deliveries, for loading and for emergency vehicles as well as ensuring road safety by managing inconsiderate and irresponsible parking.

Why is there a need for it?
In June 2011 Strathclyde Police stopped providing the traffic warden service as an efficiency saving. In the interim police officers were responsible for parking enforcement, alongside their other duties.  The loss of traffic wardens and the subsequent lack of enforcement led to people flouting the parking regulations.

How is decriminalised parking enforcement done?
The council will be employing four new amenity wardens to work alongside our two current parking attendants (who are being retrained as amenity wardens) to deliver parking enforcement across the council area. We are currently in the process of recruiting the four additional wardens and expect to have them in place by the go-live date of 12 May 2014.  The exact placement of the wardens is to be finalised but patrols will be flexible and irregular.  The council’s nine environmental wardens will also have the ability to enforce parking restrictions but are not limited to, areas with yellow lines, pay and display bays, loading and unloading areas, disabled bays, limited waiting areas and off-street parking areas.  Their role is matched to issues we know matter to our communities. As well as ensuring effective traffic management the wardens will also address issues of dog fouling and littering.

What happens when a vehicle is found to be breaking parking regulations?
The warden will issue that vehicle with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN); recording the date, time, location and nature of the offence and taking a photograph as evidence.

How do I avoid getting a penalty charge notice (PCN)?
If you park legally you have nothing to worry about.  Be on the lookout for lines, signs and notices where you park.  Areas where parking restrictions are in force include, but are not limited to, areas with yellow lines, pay and display bays, loading and unloading areas, disabled bays, limited waiting areas and off-street parking areas.  If you are unclear on what signs and lines mean, the Highway Code will help explain them.

How much does a PCN cost?
In line with national guidelines, the PCN is set at £60, to be paid within 28 days. If paid within 14 days, the charge is reduced to £30. If unpaid, the charge increases to £90 to be paid within a further 28 days.

How do I pay my PCN?
The back of the PCN will have information on what to do. Penalty charges can be paid through the ‘pay it’ function on the council website, over the phone to our customer service centre, in person at any of our customer service points or via paypoint at a local shop.

What happens if I don’t pay my PCN?
Unpaid PCNs could result in the council instructing sheriff officers to pursue recovery of the debt, which may incur additional costs.  If you receive a PCN, to avoid the debt increasing, it is best to pay early.

If I get a PCN will I get penalty points on my licence?
No. Penalty points are only received for offences dealt with by the police under criminal law.

What happens with the money from PCNs?
Any funds accrued from PCNs will be used to pay for the costs associated with parking enforcement, any surplus will be used for the upkeep of parking facilities throughout the council area.

Do the wardens have targets to meet?
No. There are no targets for the number of PCNs a warden must issue.

What role will the police have?
The police will still enforce motoring regulations against moving vehicles and matters of obstruction or dangerous parking.

What if I dispute the PCN?
The back of the PCN has information on what to do to either pay the PCN or appeal against it.

What do I do if I have a complaint?
Complaints should be made in writing to:
Roads and Amenity Services
Argyll and Bute Council
1A Manse Brae
Lochgilphead PA31 8RD