Civil Parking Enforcement FAQs
What does Civil Parking Enforcement mean?
Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) means that the responsibility for enforcing the majority of on-street parking restrictions is the responsibility of the local authority rather than the police. CPE will apply throughout Torfaen from Monday 01 July 2019 to on-street parking restrictions, as well as some of the council’s off-street car parks in Pontypool.
Why is the council undertaking Civil Parking Enforcement?
Gwent Police are due to withdraw from parking enforcement throughout the Gwent region from 30 June 2019. As the only other organisation able to apply for these powers, Torfaen County Borough Council is set to take over Civil Parking Enforcement duties from Gwent Police from Monday 01 July 2019. Gwent is currently the only police force area to still carry out parking enforcement and the transfer of powers to the council will bring Torfaen and all other local authorities in Gwent in line with the rest of Wales.
What are the benefits of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE)?
The main aims of the Joint Civil Parking and Environmental Enforcement Officers will be enforcing CPE are to maintain the free flow of traffic and encourage compliance with parking restrictions.
Compliance with parking restrictions plays an active role in maintaining road safety for drivers as well as pedestrians.
The main benefits of CPE are:
- Improved road safety for drivers and pedestrians, avoiding accidents and saving lives
- Improved traffic flows benefiting the economy and the environment
- Improved visibility at junctions
- Reduction in congestion leading to improved air quality
- Improved turnover of parking spaces
- Improved community protection from illegal and inconsiderate parking and enforces residents parking schemes
- Releases police resource to tackle criminal activities
What kind of contraventions are covered by Civil Parking Enforcement?
Parking incorrectly can result in being issued a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). These contraventions can include, but are not limited to; parking on yellow lines, overstaying time limits on parking bays, parking on pedestrian crossing zigzag markings, parking across drop kerbs and parking more than 50cm from the edge of the kerb.
Parking incorrectly, even for a few minutes, can cause inconvenience and even danger to other road users and pedestrians - which is why it is important to enforce parking regulations so motorists will be more inclined to park safely and legally. This will therefore reduce the inconvenience and danger placed upon motorists and road users every day.
What are the changes to parking rules?
None - there are no changes to the rules for parking as part of CPE. Parking contraventions that could currently result in you receiving a ticket from the police, will still be parking contraventions once CPE has been introduced. The only difference will be who issues you the ticket and how the payment or appeals process is administered, as this will no longer be done by the police but by the council.
For the past few years, limited resources have meant that the police can only give a low priority to enforcing parking contraventions. Because local authorities receive numerous complaints about illegal or inconsiderate parking, we consider it a far higher priority and will take action using the increased resources available through CPE. Therefore you may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for parking somewhere you have previously parked because our team will be enforcing contraventions daily.
Clarification of enforcement responsibilities
It should be noted that the Police will retain enforcement responsibility for drivers who park dangerously, obstructively without contravening a traffic regulation order, excessive vehicular speed and moving traffic offences e.g. prohibition of motor vehicles (except for access.
Therefore, and for simplicity in understanding enforcement responsibilities, the council will enforce on-street restrictions (effectively signs and lines). These contraventions can include, but are not limited to; parking on yellow lines, overstaying time limits on parking bays, parking on pedestrian crossing zigzag markings, parking across drop kerbs, and parking more than 50cm from the edge of the kerb. Once a PCN has been issued one of the councils Joint Civil Parking and Environmental Enforcement Officers cannot cancel a ticket.
What is a Penalty Charge Notice?
A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued to a vehicle parked in contravention of parking regulations either on-street or off-street in council managed car parks.
Who will be issuing Penalty Charge Notices?
The council will be employing a team of Joint Civil Parking and Environmental Enforcement Officers who will have the powers to not only issue PCN for parking offences, but fines for environmental offences too. Officers will carry out parking enforcement as outlined in Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, and will be deployed daily across Torfaen. It’s likely that officers will be seen enforcing at locations where previously traffic wardens were not deployed.
What happens to the income from the Penalty Charge Notices?
The payments generated from issuing PCNs are allocated to covering the cost of operating the enforcement service. Any surplus parking enforcement income is ring fenced for traffic improvement projects as required by legislation.
Are there targets for issuing Penalty Charge Notices?
The Joint Civil Parking and Environmental Enforcement Officers do not have targets to issue a set number of PCNs. The aim of parking enforcement is not to maximise income for councils but to improve traffic management, network management, efficiency and compliance with restrictions for the benefit of the whole community.
How much will a Penalty Charge Notice cost?
There will be two bands of PCNs – lower level and higher level - with the more serious offences such as parking on yellow lines or parking in a disabled bay without displaying a valid blue badge, being subject to a higher level PCNs.
The charge will be £70 for a higher level offence and £50 for a lower offence, with a 50% reduction for paying within 14 days and a potential 50% increase if payment is not made within 28 days.
What happens if I receive a Penalty Charge Notice?
You have two options, if you receive a PCN:
Pay: You only pay 50% of the full penalty if you pay within 14 days (taking day 1 as the date on the PCN). After 14 days, the penalty increases to the full amount. In any case, payment needs to be made within 28 days, beginning with day 1.
Appeal: If a motorist believes that there is a case for consideration they have an opportunity to appeal in accordance with the parking penalty enforcement process, which is detailed in the Authority’s Civil Parking Enforcement Policy.
You can write to us within 28 days from the date of the when the notice was serves to lodge an appeal. If an appeal is lodged within the first 14 days of this period, the level of charge will remain at the reduced rate pending the outcome of the appeal.
If the appeal is rejected, the recipients (vehicle owner/keeper) does have the further option to submit an appeal to an independent adjudicator. Details of how to do this will be included in the decision notice from the council.
What happens if I ignore a Penalty Charge Notice?
If you ignore a PCN it will not go away. The Penalty Charge will increase if it is not paid or if a challenge is not made. Further delay in dealing with the PCN can lead to action by Debt Recovery Enforcement Agents (bailiffs), with their costs added to the civil debt
How can I avoid getting a Penalty Charge Notice?
Following these parking tips will help you to park in a way that does not cause inconvenience to other members of the public and help avoid a PCN:
- Always check the lines on the road and, where applicable, the signs by the side of the road - they tell you what restrictions apply
- Always make sure you have parked within the bay markings
- Read the Highway Code which will help explain what the signs and lines mean
- Do not continue to park contravening any restrictions where previously you have been parking, as the restrictions will now be more effectively enforced
- Do not park on double yellow lines
- Do not park where there are yellow line waiting or loading restrictions in force
- Do not block entrances to private properties – dropped kerbs
- Do not double-park
- Do not park on pedestrian crossings or the white zig-zag markings near to the crossing
- Do not park on ‘School Keep Clear’ markings or the yellow zig-zag markings near to schools
- Do not park in loading bays unless you are loading/unloading goods
- Do not park in bays reserved for disabled badge holders or specific classes of vehicle unless you are entitled to do so
- Always make sure you have parked within the bay markings
How do I pay a Penalty Charge Notice?
There are three ways you can pay your PCN.
- Online at www.swpg.co.uk (credit/debit card payment)
- By post to SWPG, PO Box 112, Pontypridd, CF37 9EL,
- By telephone on 033 33 200 867 (Credit/debit card payment)
Where should I park?
There are no changes to the rules for parking as part of CPE. Parking contraventions that could currently result in you receiving a ticket from the police, will still be parking contraventions once CPE has been introduced.
Find out more about parking within Torfaen here.
What does CPE mean for disabled badge holders?
Nothing is changing for Blue Badge holders. The usual rules apply.
If you have a Blue Badge then you can park:
- On a single or double yellow line for up to a maximum of 3 hours provided your badge and parking disc/clock (set to show time of arrival) are displayed clearly and you are not causing an obstruction
- On-street: In disables bays for free and without time limit unless a sign says otherwise
Please note: you should display your Blue Badge clearly on your dashboard or fascia panel. The front of the badge showing the wheelchair symbol and expiry date should be visible.
Blue Badge holders cannot park:
Last Modified: 11/06/2019
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- On bus stops
- On taxi ranks
- On clearways (no stopping)
- In special bays, such as doctor or police bays
- Where a loading ban is in force
- On pavements unless there is a sign of white lines allowing you do to so
- On a pedestrian crossing or its zigzag markings
- On school zigzag markings during the times of operation