Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire, is calling on the District Council to take over responsibility for parking enforcement from the Police, as surveys show the overwhelming majority of residents want a clamp down on illegal parking.
In response to a question posed by Mr Browne’s Planning and Development survey, which received 2,944 responses from across the constituency, 71% of residents indicated they wanted to see more enforcement against illegal parking, while just 25% indicated they are happy with current levels.
Currently, Cambridgeshire Constabulary maintains responsibility for enforcement activity in South Cambridgeshire against illegal parking, which includes parking on double yellow lines and in restricted bays. Under Civil Parking Enforcement, also known as Decriminalised Parking Enforcement, the local authority can issue tickets when a vehicle appears not to be complying with notified rules and regulations.
According to Department of Transport figures, 97% of local authorities have now taken some or all responsibility for parking enforcement, including Cambridge City where Cambridgeshire County Council has responsibility for enforcement activity.
Mr Browne has held discussions with Cambridgeshire’s Chief Constable, who has been clear that Police priorities do not allow for significant resources to tackle current levels of illegal parking. He has also written in support of proposals by Cllr Dr Richard Williams, District Councillor for Whittlesford, seeking action from our local authority to take on this challenge.
Mr Browne commented: “It is impossible to justify the lack of enforcement of parking laws across South Cambridgeshire. Drivers know they can park anywhere and ignore all parking controls as they will never be fined. This causes particular problems around train stations and village high streets. If almost the entire rest of the country – including such rural areas as Northumbria and Norfolk – can make civil enforcement of parking work, I am sure our area can.
“My survey shows it is clear the overwhelming majority of voters are fed up and want a clampdown on illegal parking. The local authorities cannot ignore this and have to act. If the new Cambridgeshire County Council administration is not willing to take on further responsibility, South Cambridgeshire District Council should be able to overcome the bureaucratic challenges to find a solution, perhaps learning the lessons from surrounding areas.
“I have long sought a debate on this issue, and stand ready to assist in any transition”