Liberal Democrats around Oxfordshire are pushing for action to tackle dangerous parking.
Illegal, dangerous and inconsiderate parking is a growing problem in market towns such as Abingdon, Faringdon and Wantage as well as communities such as Botley and Kidlington.
Responsibility for enforcing parking regulations in the Vale of White Horse, Cherwell and South Oxon District Councils currently rests with the police. In contrast, in Oxford City, and in most of the country, it is the responsibility of the local council.
"Oxford City's parking enforcement is very good, but this has a negative impact on areas like Kidlington and Botley. Parking restrictions and having to pay to park at Park and Rides has displaced parking onto residential streets. It is time to properly consider Civil Parking Enforcement," said Cllr Emily Smith, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on the Vale of White Horse District Council.
Civil Parking Enforcement or Decriminalised Parking Enforcement is when local authorities take over from the police to ticket people who are parking illegally and to create new parking restrictions if required.
In 2014 the Conservative administration running the Vale of White Horse voted against taking responsibility for Parking Enforcement. Since then, combined with police funding cuts, the problem has escalated. The Liberal Democrat group have continued to support Civil Parking enforcement, raising the matter regularly with Thames Valley Police, highways officers and at County Council.
“The district council can and should use the powers they have to tackle dangerous and inconsiderate parking. Civil Parking Enforcement is long overdue” said Cllr Jenny Hannaby, Wantage and Grove Brook Ward.
Liberal Democrat councillors are putting forward motions calling on the Vale of White Horse District Council to scope the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement on both the Vale and Abingdon Town Councils. Lib Dem councillors on Kidlington Parish Council are also pushing Cherwell District Council to do the same.
Benefits of civil parking include:
- Regular enforcement of parking regulations
- Freeing up police time
- Public engagement through consultation about what parking restrictions need to be in place
- Enabling local councillors to take positive action on poor parking where is arises
- Self-funding scheme where all set up and running costs can be recovered by ticket fines
Contacts for more information:
Cllr Emily Smith, Vale Group Leaders and Botley area 07986 877 933, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Neil Fawcett, Abingdon area 07810 482376, email@example.com
Cllr Jenny Hannaby, Wantage area, 07736 893148, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Alaric Rose, Kidlington area, 01865 849181, email@example.com