Apparently some local councils can’t issue parking tickets because of a legal loophole!
You might be one of the lucky drivers who could risk parking and possibly not be handed a ticket but only if you live in one of the 20 or more areas in the UK where local authorities can’t issue parking tickets due to a legal loophole.
These specific areas have no Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) powers given to them by the UK Government, so they have no council traffic wardens out on the streets handing out tickets.
As a result, it’s the police forces in these areas who have the responsibility of issuing penalty notices but as is the case with many boroughs and districts up and down the country, resources are redirected into catching criminals.
The problem is particularly acute in Suffolk, as six out of the seven local councils in the area have no CPE powers.
Some drivers have caused large traffic problems in villages and towns because they’ve chosen to park on double yellow lines or in restricted parking spaces.
Of the 327 local authorities in England, 21 as yet have still not been granted CPE control.
The 21 local authorities with no CPE powers still are; Babergh, Cherwell, East Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Forest Heath, Gosport, Halton, Huntingdonshire, Isles of Scilly, Kettering, Mid Suffolk, North Warwickshire, Rother, South Cambridgeshire, South Oxfordshire, St Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal, Telford and Wrekin, Vale of Whitehorse, Waveney and Wealden.
Since January last year, Suffolk County Council has been lobbying the DfT to receive CPE control but so far no authorisation has been granted.
Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) was introduced back in 2004 and so far 93% councils in England have chosen to adopt the powers.
Back in 2005, Suffolk’s county town Ipswich began on-street CPE, however the other six borough councils did not take up the powers.
Over the past 14 years, locals have only really been at risk of council tickets in ‘resident only’ areas and car parks, with locals saying it’s simply ‘safer’ to park on double yellow lines or pavements rather than in a car park with no ticket.
According to one resident from Newmarket who’s never received a ticket, everybody just parks wherever they want at any time, as the police are much too busy dealing with more serious crimes.
Figures from the police have shown that in 2016/17 only 3,854 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) were handed out in Suffolk – all the money from the tickets went straight to the treasury.
When councils do finally take control, some councillors believe the number of motorists issued with a ticket will increase by 1,000% to 36,000.
Until such powers have been granted, Suffolk Police have said their officers will continue to enforce on-street parking – the money they collect goes to HM Treasury.
“We understand the importance of parking enforcement to local communities and are working closely with local authorities in Suffolk to minimise delays to their application,” said a spokesman for the Department for Transport.
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