West Suffolk Council closer to taking over civil parking enforcement from police as order goes to Parliament
Illegal parking in Bury St Edmunds could become a thing of the past from January, after new legislation was completed that will allow a council to take over parking enforcement.
A civil parking enforcement (CPE) order, which would see the power transferred from police to district and borough councils in Suffolk, is due to be laid before Parliament in October. As long as there are no objections from MPs within 40 days, the new legislation will then be implemented in January 2020.
David Nettleton, who is chair of the West Suffolk Council car parking review working party, said that the move would help to deliver a solution to what is one of residents’ main concerns in the towns.
“People want to see improvements in illegal parking and pavement parking,” he said.
“It’s a problem right across the whole of West Suffolk so it’s a big scheme to come in.”
In this area, West Suffolk Council would employ staff to enforce the parking laws though it is not yet known how many or where they will be deployed.
“It can be a big strain on police when numbers are tight, time is tight or they have other priorities to focus on,” said Cllr Nettleton.
“This means it will now be up to the local council to operate and enforce the new legislation and employ staff to do it.”
The new legislation is also good news for schools, where police have been unable to crack down on bad parking.
Suffolk Highways has already undertaken work with schools, towns and parish councils to ensure that the problem is dealt with after the handover of responsibility.
Cllr Mary Evans, cabinet member for highways at Suffolk County Council, said: “It’s an issue so we need to make sure parking is planned away from the school gates so it is safe.”
Cllr Nettleton added that this was just one aspect of the working party’s ambitions for parking across West Suffolk.
“There are a lot of things to look at and we have to look more broadly now because we have Newmarket, Brandon and Mildenhall to think about which we didn’t have before,” he said. “Things like climate change, traffic congestion and air quality also need to be thought about. There are many important factors that you have to consider.”
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More by this authorRhoda Morrison