Parking enforcement proposals aim to keep the traffic moving

Motorists have been told that proposed changes to the way parking is controlled in Oxfordshire would lead to safer roads and help traffic to move more freely.

Oxfordshire County Council has agreed to apply to the Government to take over responsibility for civil parking enforcement across the whole of the county. If the plans are approved by district councillors at the Vale of White Horse, South Oxfordshire and Cherwell, then the new measures could come into force across the county by November 2021.

The proposal, which was agreed by the county council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, October 13, would also lead to the creation of up to 168 new on-street pay-and-display car parking spaces in the Vale, South, and Cherwell districts.

The county council already enforces parking in Oxford City and West Oxfordshire, and could now take over responsibility from Thames Valley Police in South Oxfordshire, the Vale, and Cherwell, ensuring continuity across the whole county.

The aim is for the new arrangement to be self-funding, with the extra pay-and-display spaces helping to pay for enforcement costs, although there would be some limited funding from the three districts.

Cllr Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Environment, said: “This is not a way to make more money out of motorists, but to ensure our roads are safer and kept clear of obstacles to keep the traffic moving.

“The aim is to achieve 100% compliance of parking regulations. If that was to happen then there would be no income from penalty charges. However, if drivers choose to park illegally, they should expect to receive a fine.

“The ideal situation would be for there to be no fines because no-one was breaking the parking regulations,” she added.

“In addition, the creation of additional on-street parking would help our market towns in the recovery period as it would lead to a greater turnover of spaces, which is better for shops and businesses.”

Members of the public would be able to report areas and incidents of illegal parking through a dedicated email address and telephone line. Officers would investigate and take enforcement action as required.

Parking offences, which include overstaying in pay-and-display bays, double-parking, dropped kerb obstruction and yellow line infringements, would be enforced by the county council’s contractor Conduent. Penalty charges range from £50-£70, but would be reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days.