Devon County Council explains new on-street parking rules

PUBLISHED: 17:01 09 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:08 10 June 2010

Devon County Council has been caught unawares by a loophole in the transfer of on-street parking regulations from the police to local authorities - but has quickly reassured motorists of the rules.

Devon County Council has been caught unawares by a loophole in the transfer of on-street parking regulations from the police to local authorities - but has quickly reassured motorists of the rules.

The Council wishes to make it clear to motorists in Devon that the arrangements it has made to sub-contract the work to district councils is perfectly legal and all parking tickets issued by Civil Parking Enforcement Officers are valid.

The following has been issued by the Department for Transport:

What is the issue?

A Civil Enforcement Officer can only be appointed by a "local authority", but as defined in Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, a "local authority" does not include a non-metropolitan District Council.

Who does it affect?

England only, and only non-metropolitan District councils with civil enforcement powers, and only applies to enforcement in off-street car parks and a small amount of free on-street parking for which it is the enforcement authority.

Staff appointed before 31 March (where the district council already had civil enforcement powers under the old 1991 Road Traffic Act regime) are unaffected as they will have been appointed as parking attendants under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

Therefore the problem principally affects non metropolitan district councils who need to appoint new staff or who did not have sufficient staff already in place before their civil enforcement powers came into force. There are 22 non metropolitan authorities with off-street parking most likely to be affected. All of these were informed of the problem on 2 May. We also wrote to those authorities who were unlikely to be affected.

How will this affect PCNs?

Of the 22 non metropolitan authorities most likely to be affected, all were granted CPE powers on or after Monday 5 May. As they had already been alerted to the potential problem it is unlikely that any PCNs have been issued incorrectly. However, we have advised authorities to cancel any PCNs that have been issued incorrectly.

What is not affected?

The issue does not affect parking enforcement on the public highway, or parking enforcement by other types of local authorities, including County Councils, metropolitan District Councils, London Councils and Unitary Authorities.

Staff from non-metropolitan district councils, whenever appointed, can also be deployed to enforce these restrictions where the district council has been made responsible for enforcing them under an agency agreement with the higher tier County Council.

How has Government fixed the problem?

New provisions included in the Local Transport Bill, when they come into force (later this year, subject of course to the consideration of Parliament) will solve the problem by amending the way a 'local authority' is defined in relevant legislation. This will enable non-metropolitan District councils to appoint Civil Enforcement Officers on an ongoing basis as intended.

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