Councils take on parking role
Mansfield District and Notts County Councils are teaming up to take over parking enforcement from the Police, starting on 12th May 2008.
There will be four enforcement officers covering the Mansfield district, who will be responsible for on-street parking and car parks owned by the Mansfield District Council.
The new parking enforcement aims to bring about safer, less congested streets with more spaces available for shoppers and blue badge holders through a regular level of local enforcement.
Mansfield District Council will manage the day-to-day parking enforcement in its local areas and the County Council will handle the processing of penalty charge notices and appeals.
The enforcement will involve issuing penalty charge notices where drivers have committed a parking offence – vehicles will not be clamped or towed away.
The parking restrictions will stay the same and any revenue raised from the issuing of penalty charge notices will be spent on the enforcement. Any surplus received will be spent on traffic management, public transport or car parking improvements.
Coun Stella Smedley, Notts County Council's Cabinet Member for Environment said: "Effective parking enforcement discourages the abuse of limited waiting car parking spaces in town centres and prevents non-disabled motorists using on-street and off-street spaces allocated for disabled drivers.
"Drivers who park properly and legally will notice no change other than easier access to parking spaces and less congestion caused by illegal parking."
Coun Danny McCrossan, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection at Mansfield District Council, added: "The council receives numerous calls about nuisance and illegal on-street parking but frustratingly, until the new arrangements come into force, we haven't been able to take any action. I am sure these new arrangements will also be welcomed by the vast majority of motorists who park legally and conscientiously.
"Traffic regulations and parking restrictions are there for a reason, more often than not for safety and fairness to people with mobility problems and to ensure access is always available for emergency vehicles. We make no apologies for enforcing these rules."
Liz Silver from Nottinghamshire Disabled People's Movement said: "We welcome this change if it cuts down on the abuse of parking spaces for drivers with a Blue Badge and stops cars parking where they shouldn't, such as across pavements or on dropped kerbs. We look forward to improvements for both disabled drivers and disabled pedestrians."
A high-profile publicity campaign, which includes newspaper, radio and bus-back advertising, is currently taking place to make people aware of the changes.
The Government aims for all local authorities to be responsible for parking enforcement in their areas by 2011.
NCP services will supply the enforcement officers who will also be issuing warning notices to vehicles parked incorrectly to make motorists aware of the changes on the run-up to the launch date.
Pictured at the launch of the new arrangements for Mansfield are (left to right): Coun John Allin, Chairman Notts County Council; Gareth Johnson, Civil Parking Enforcement Manager, Notts County Council; Coun Kate Allsop, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Mansfield District Council and Steve Roe, Civil Enforcement Officer, NCP.