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Date finally set for transfer of powers to help crackdown on illegal parking

Parking enforcement powers in Suffolk will finally transfer from the police to district and borough councils from April 6.

The long-awaited move is expected to see tougher crackdowns on nuisance and illegal parking as stretched police struggle to dedicate resource on the issue.

An order to enact the change was laid before Parliament on Thursday for a three week period when MPs can ask to debate it - bringing to an end months of uncertainty.

Double yellow lines. Picture: Andrew Martin from Pixabay
Double yellow lines. Picture: Andrew Martin from Pixabay

The change was earmarked to start last April but was postponed due to delays from central Government over Brexit and a lack of availability in the parliamentary timetable.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see progress being made at last. There has been quite a delay in getting this sorted, so it is great to finally have a date for implementation.

“The council-run parking teams will, without doubt, provide more effective parking enforcement than the police because it will be their main focus – we have seen this in Ipswich where parking enforcement was de-criminalised some years ago.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk police and crime commissioner
Tim Passmore, Suffolk police and crime commissioner

He added civil parking enforcement (CPE) will ‘free up police time for them to deal with more urgent issues’ and he had committed £190,000 from police reserves to help establish the scheme.

West Suffolk Council will carry out the parking enforcement for its area and, together with Ipswich Borough Council, will provide services within Babergh and Mid Suffolk.

The authority will employ additional staff as part of the changes.

Money collected from parking fines can be retained by the councils and put back into services.

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said the announcement is ‘very welcome’ and follows lobbying of Government.

“Many of our residents, communities and businesses in West Suffolk have also been asking for this to happen as they are tired of a small minority of motorists parking dangerously and clogging up our roads when most drivers abide by the rules," he said.

Cllr Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, added: “I look forward to seeing the benefits locally that these changes will bring.”

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