Parking statutory guidance
In March 2008 the government finally issued guidance and statutory guidance to local authorities enforcing parking restrictions. This was some time ago but still relevant today. We were disappointed that this was not enshrined into law. However the statutory guidance is guidance that local authorities “must have regard to” and therefore if they do not and you receive a parking ticket – now referred to as a penalty charge notice then you should appeal on the basis that they have not had regard to or complied with the guidance. A parking adjudicator will look at the guidance before he makes his decision. He may well ask the local authority to explain why they departed from the guidance.
The operational guidance issued to local authorities on 31st March 2008 is meant to make parking enforcement fairer but we think it will lead to even more tickets being issued. Below is a summery of some of the points within the guidance some which a motorist can use as the basis for an appeal as enforcing authorities must have regard to the guidance. To make it easier we have included the actual clause number from the guidance in the left hand column So that you can use it in an appeal. The introduction to the guidance states the following:
Clause 1.2 “The operational guidance”:
“sets out the policy framework within which the Government believes that all local authorities both inside and outside London should be setting their parking policies”
“advises all English enforcement authorities of the procedures that they must follow, the procedures to which they must have regard and the procedures that the Government recommends they follow when enforcing parking restrictions”
“tells members of the public as well as local authorities, about parking policies and their enforcement”
Clause 1.4 The guidance is published under section 87 of the Traffic management act 2004, Section 87 states “that local authorities must have regard to the information contained in that guidance”
If a local authority has not followed the guidance then, depending on the circumstances, an appeal to the adjudicator may well be upheld on this alone.
It is all very well for local authorities to issue penalty charge notices for any minor breach of the regulations but they themselves must also follow the rules when enforcing.
In order to make it easier to navigate we have summarised some of the sections which should assist you in having a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) cancelled.
Click the relevant section to go straight there or scroll down.
CCTV enforcement (Free content)
Traffic Signs’ plating and road markings (Free content)
Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) (Free content)
Loading and unloading (Members content)
Suspensions (Members content)
Civil enforcement officers and their required uniforms (Members content)
The penalty charge notice (PCN) and notice to owner (NTO) (Members content)
Payment deadlines (Members content)
Special Consideration Plates for Disabled Badge Holders & Vehicles with Diplomatic Registration (Members content)
Clamping (immobilisation) and removal (Members content)
Parking along dropped footways (Members content)
Charge Certificate (Members content)
Witness Statement (formerly a Statutory Declaration) (Members content)
Warrants of Execution and Certificated Bailiffs (Members content)
Many local authorities now use CCTV enforcement however in most situations the guidance says that they shouldn’t.
Was your contravention captured by a CCTV camera? Many authorities use CCTV enforcement to capture parking offences but the Statutory government guidance issued to local authorities on 31st March 2008 states the following.
1.) Clause 8.78 It is recommended by the secretary of state that enforcement by approved devices[such as CCTV] are used [for parking enforcement] only where enforcement is difficult or sensitive AND civil enforcement officer enforcement is not practical. The examples given in a radio interview by Rosie Winterton Minister of State for transport are where for example you have a dual carriageway with no pavements. Another example could perhaps be where it would be unsafe for a civil enforcement officer to patrol. In most areas local authorities managed to issue many PCN’s by using parking attendants before they introduced CCTV enforcement so it is not impractical to use them.
2.) CCTV enforcement should be used Sparingly Wow look at Westminster council in London which are installing another 200 parking camera’s despite the guidance.
3.) It is recommended that authorities put up signs to tell drivers that they are using cameras to detect contraventions.- Westminster council in London refuses to do this so this may be grounds for appeal in itself. Clause 8.79 states “ the primary objective of any camera enforcement system is to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the road network by deterring motorists from breaking road traffic restrictions and detecting those that do. To do this , the system needs to be well publicised and indicated with lawful traffic signs”.
The guidance clearly states the situations when CCTV enforcement could be used as follows.
Enforcement on trunk roads and other high speed routes.
13.17 It has, in the past, been considered inappropriate for local authorities to use their enforcement powers on high speed roads (including trunk roads) because of the dangers to CEOs. However, the power given in the TMA to use approved devices,[such as CCTV] which are best suited for use in situations such as on high speed roads where stopping and parking are banned, makes local authority enforcement of parking on these roads more practical. Some authorities may now wish to include some high speed roads in their designation orders.The guidance also reiterates the fact that operators operating CCTV surveillance should have specialist training and should achieve the BTEC qualification. Was the operator who captured your contravention correctly qualified.?
“When enforcement is based on CCTV surveillance, authorities should make sure that operators have specialised training, current guidance is operators to achieve the BTEC qualification.
It is also worth noting:-
“Devices used to enforce parking must be certified by the Secretary of State. In London, there is a transitional period of 12 months ending on 30 March 2009. If the devices are not certified by the Vehicle Certification Agency on behalf of the Secretary of State, the Penalty Charge Notices are invalid and the enforcing authority may risk prosecution..
You may want to check with the agency that the camera that was used to catch you was certified.
The contact details of the Vehicle Certification Agency are 1, The Eastgate Office Centre, Eastgate Road, Bristol, BS5 6XX, telephone: 01179 515151. www.vca.gov.uk
One of the main complaints that we receive is that of incorrect missing or indeed inadequate signage. The government has recognised this too. Many appeals are won on the basis of incorrect markings or signage. We have a complete section on signs and lines. In addition to this.
The guidance states:-
“The restrictions need to be made clear to motorists through appropriate and legal traffic signs and road markings.”
“A flawed or inadequately signed order may be unenforceable and can significantly damage both the aims of enforcement and the public perception of its management”.
Clause 8.35 states:
”Authorities should not use PCNs when traffic signs or road markings are incorrect, missing or not in accordance with the TRO. These circumstances may make the order unenforceable. If a representation against the PCN shows that a traffic sign or road marking was defective, the authority should accept the representation because the adjudicator is likely to uphold any appeal. An enforcement authority may be acting unlawfully and may damage its reputation if it continues to issue PCNs that it knows to be unenforceable”.
Clause E2: PCNs may not be valid if they are issued where traffic signs and road markings are incorrect or in poor condition. Representations demonstrating this should be accepted. If such representations are not accepted, any subsequent appeal may be successful. Authorities should, therefore, have the services of an employee or contractor who is capable of reading and applying TSRGD 2002 and the Traffic Signs Manual. When the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHIE) qualification in traffic sign design is in place, the employee or contractor should have achieved at least ‘practitioner’ level.
There must be clear roadside signage at the point of parking. (within 15 meters) However by allocating an area as a controlled parking Zone a local authority does not need to install roadside signage on single yellow lines. (there is no requirement to install roadside signage on double yellow lines as these always apply “at any time” unless indicated otherwise with signage)
Controlled parking zones must have controlled zone signs on both sides of the road at all entry points and the signs should not be installed close to junctions where motorists attention will be elsewhere. Many councils including Westminster in London do not signpost their zones correctly. This is disgraceful and leads to many tickets being issued when they shouldn’t be and many motorists are being penalised illegally. Quite often CPZ signs are missing and they are nearly always situated at junctions and even on busy roundabouts. Many motorists forget which zone they are in even if the signs do comply as some zones are incredibly large. The guidance seeks to address this by stating that a CPZ should not be larger than 12 streets.
Clause E5: The Secretary of State’s view is that motorists cannot reasonably be expected to read, understand and remember the parking restrictions at the entrance to a Controlled Parking Zone that covers an area of more than a dozen streets. CPZs rely solely on zone entry signs to give times of operation and to remove the need for time plates within the zone, except on lengths of road where the restrictions apply at different times to the rest of the zone. The area of a CPZ should, therefore, be restricted to, for example, a town centre shopping area.
A single zone covering a whole town, or suburb of a conurbation, would be much too large. Conventional time plate signing, without zone entry signs, should accompany the yellow sign markings where large areas have waiting restrictions. Time plates are not necessary where there are double yellow lines.
E6: Where CPZ (or Restricted Parking Zone – RPZ – where authorised) signing is to be used, care should be taken when siting the zone entry signs to ensure that they are clearly and safely visible to motorists. Unless unavoidable, they should not be close to junctions on busy roads, where motorists are likely to be concentrating on direction signs, traffic lights and other directional maneuvering. Locations where the zone entry signs are likely to be obscured by large vehicles (for example, delivery vans, or buses at bus stops) should also be avoided. Local authorities will also need to ensure that they do not become obscured by vegetation or street furniture, including other traffic signs.
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