Anger as Brexit blamed for Suffolk parking law delay

Yellow lines
Yellow lines

Plans to give Suffolk councils the power to issue street parking tickets may be delayed by Brexit.

The move, backed by the police and county, district and borough councils, was expected to become law next April but may take until 2020.

Suffolk’s councils are among only 21 in England who do not have civil parking enforcement (CPE) powers. So while councils enforce rules in their carparks, the police must issue tickets for illegal street parking.

Under the rules, Suffolk County Council applies to the Department for Transport for CPE powers then licenses enforcement to boroughs and districts.

But a county council spokeswoman said: “Locally, preparations are on track for implementation in April 2019. However, the Secretary of State for Transport has now confirmed the DfT’s position that the outlined Suffolk timescale will not be achievable because their priority is to assist with the work involved in the country leaving the European Union.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The whole submission has been done and it’s only a ministerial order that must be signed – I’ve seen the paper and it’s only two sheets of A4.

“We’ve got agreement across all local authorities and it’s not a good use of police time. We’ve done everything the Government asked. It’s not as if there is major legislation to be passed.”

The CPE law came in in 2004 and Ipswich has done it since 2005. Under CPE, street parking penalties stay in the county instead of going to the Treasury like court fines.

Bury St Edmunds town councillor Tom Murray, a campaigner against anti-social parking, said: “By next April it will have taken two years, now they’re saying it will be longer.

“The police have got other things to do than write out tickets – they do their best.”

A DfT spokesman said: “We understand the importance of parking enforcement to local communities and are working closely with the local authorities in Suffolk to minimise delays.”

Suffolk Police will continue to enforce street parking and problems can be reported on 101.