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City team tackles problem parkers

Published Monday, 15 February 2016

A new report into parking in the city reveals that more than 34,000 ‘tickets’ were issued against motorists in 2014/15.

More than 31,000 of these were for on-street offences – for a variety of reasons, including parking on zigzags outside schools, stopping in bus lanes and parking on double yellow lines.

These notices resulted in just over £1.5m in fines – most of which went straight back into funding the service.

The figures are revealed in a new report into how the Council enforced parking laws in 2014-15 and the new measures that have been brought in to make sure the city’s traffic can flow freely and residents can get about safely.

It looks at on and off street parking and as well as looking at how the service performed in the past 12 months, it looks ahead to the challenges of the coming year.

It also marks the 10th anniversary of when the Council took control of parking and the old ‘traffic wardens’ from the police. 

Cllr Rachel Lancaster, Cabinet Member Public Services, said: “Balancing the demands for parking and the needs of residents, visitors, businesses, disabled people and shoppers is vital to the success of the city and continues to be a challenge.

“We do understand that parking enforcement is not always popular with some people but it is absolutely vital if we are to improve road safety, traffic flow and access for essential public services. 

“Unfortunately, a considerable number of people continue to park indiscriminately, inconsiderately and illegally and our enforcement officers are kept busy making sure the city’s streets are safe for all users.

“The aim of parking enforcement is never to make money, it is to help the city and its people. We would be delighted if there were no offences and no need to issue tickets, but unfortunately, some people continue to park selfishly and put others at risk – whether it is young children outside schools or shoppers in the city centre – and we have to take action to protect these people.

“We have brought in a number of new initiatives keep people safe, help businesses and keep motorists moving - to support the city centre and the whole of Coventry as we continue to attract investment and our population grows.”

The report looks at the work of the 24 Civil Enforcement Officers, who work in shifts seven days a week and are easily identifiable, wearing Council uniforms as they patrol the city either on foot, in cars or on mopeds. 

They issue Penalty Charge Notices of either £70 for serious offences – such as parking on double yellow lines - or £50 for less serious offences, such as overstaying a time limit. The charge is reduced by half if paid within 14 days, but can increase if not paid. And there are about 60 different types of parking offences, from parking at a dropped kerb to parking at a bus stop, stopping near junctions and crossings and using disabled parking bays without a badge.

And with 17 Council-run car parks and one coach park in the city centre, along with five other private car parks that offer a total of around 4,100 spaces, it’s a busy job for the Enforcement Officers.

Plans for the coming year include two new residents’ parking schemes at Earlsdon and Cheylesmore (west and east). And the Wi-Fi information system that covers the city centre’s pay and display machines is set to be extended to provide live car-park information to signs around the Ring Road and information totems in the city centre.

In April last year, the Council also launched a 12 month trial for a CCTV car to visit areas outside schools where a large number of people complain about dangerous parking. That trial ends in March and it will then be reviewed to see if the service continues.
Other priority areas for the year ahead include more effective enforcement of foreign vehicles and tackling abuse of the Blue Badge scheme.

If councillors approve the report at a meeting on Monday 22 February, it will be sent to the Secretary of State for Transport and other key stakeholders. Copies will also be made available on the Council's website.

People with comments on parking issues, or suggested improvements, can e-mail parkingenforcement@coventry.gov.uk, call 024 7683 3400 or send them in writing to Coventry City Council, Parking Services, PO Box 3943, Coventry, CV1 2PY.

For more details, visit http://www.coventry.gov.uk/parking
 

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