Civil parking enforcement
Civil parking enforcement (CPE)
Changes in the law meant that councils could apply to central
government to take over the enforcement of most on-street parking
controls from the police.
This 'decriminalisation' of parking enforcement has been adopted
by the county council as
. Under CPE, parking
enforcement has transferred from criminal law (Sussex
Police) to civil law (local authority).
The West Sussex Parking Enforcement Practice Note is an
operational statement that provides a clear framework for effective
parking management activities throughout West Sussex.
Parking enforcement throughout the county is the responsibility
primarily of the County Council. To achieve effective
implementation of the Integrated Parking Strategy, the powers for
on-street parking enforcement are delegated to the district and
borough councils acting as our agent, thereby enabling the
integration of the responsibilities for both on-street and
Previously, the government received the majority of money generated
through Fixed Penalty Notices issued by the police. Under
, the County
Council, in partnership with the district and borough councils,
will collect these charges and use them to pay for the costs of
enforcement; using any surplus money for the benefit of transport,
parking and other environmental improvements within the districts
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What are the objectives?
The three key objectives of civil parking
enforcement in West Sussex are to:
- provide a single integrated parking service, combining
on-street and off-street management and enforcement that will be
accessible, at a local level within the districts and
- provide the effective enforcement of parking controls.
- be self-financing with any surpluses arising from the
enforcement regime used to improve parking facilities and approved
transport and environmental improvement, within the district or
borough in which the surplus is accrued.
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What are the benefits?
The benefits of civil parking enforcement are as
a greater focus on enforcement than the police had previously been
able to provide. This will mean clearer, safer roads and
- The new arrangements will deliver improvements for congestion,
road safety, the economy and the environment.
- The charges for parking illegally will no longer be paid to
central government. Any surplus revenue, after administration
costs, will be re-invested into local transport and environmental
- Town centre on-street parking for short term use will be made
more available through higher turnover.
- Illegal parking on yellow lines will be reduced by up to a
- All road users will benefit - pedestrians, cyclists, buses and
bus passengers, freight vehicles, emergency services and
- An increased uniformed presence will contribute towards
community safety and help to reduce other vehicle crime, for
example, car tax evasion and unregistered vehicles.
- Abuse of disabled bays and residents’ bays will be reduced,
freeing them up for those who are legitimately entitled to use
- Car parking issues can be more easily linked to council
transportation policies, enabling both the district, borough and
county councils to respond to changes in local parking
- It will provide integrated on-street and off-street parking
management at a local level.
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What are the penalties?
The district and borough councils’ Civil Enforcement Officers
- Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) -for most non-endorsable parking
- Fixed Penalty Charge Notices (FPNs)
- Excess Charge Notices (ECNs) - if they observe a contravention
of the regulations (incorrect parking).
There are two levels of penalty charges depending on the
severity of the contravention. The higher band is £70.00 (reduced
to £35.00 if paid within 14 days) and the lower band is £50.00
(reduced to £25.00 if paid within 14 days).
If you pay late, the penalty charge increases to £105.00 (higher
band) and £75.00 (lower band). This may be more if the borough or
district council has to pursue the debt through the use of
be allowed to accept payment and are under strict instructions
that, once a
been issued, it cannot be withdrawn.
have quotas or targets for issuing PCNs; their job is simply to get
drivers to obey the parking control measures and to issue a PCN if
they believe that a contravention has taken place.
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Will vehicles be removed?
We do not believe that there is a recognised need to routinely
undertake removal of vehicles contravening the parking restrictions
in the early stages of the new parking enforcement scheme.
However, the councils may, in the future, decide to invoke its
statutory powers to remove vehicles that are in contravention of
parking regulations where it is considered a traffic safety hazard
exists which endangers other road users.
On the highway, vehicles may be removed by:
On private land, vehicles can be clamped or towed by the land owner
or their contractor.
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Appealing against a PCN
If you think you haven’t broken the rules, or that there was a
valid justification for doing so (such as mitigating
circumstances), you are entitled to make a representation to the
district or borough council that issued the
. In order to make a
representation against a PCN, you are required to write to the
issuing council detailing why you feel that the PCN was incorrectly
issued, or detailing any mitigating circumstances that you would
like to be considered.
Once the district or borough council receives your
representation, it will acknowledge it in writing within a
specified period and give you a full reply in writing.
Penalty Tribunal (TPT) has been set up to ensure that
unresolved legal disputes between the motorist and the councils can
be heard at a formal tribunal hearing. This body is completely
independent of the council. If you are not satisfied by the outcome
of a representation that you have made to the district or borough
council that issued the
, you are entitled to make an
is a public information website on the overall civil enforcement
process, set up to provide the motorist with step-by-step
information on civil parking and bus lane enforcement from the
issue of a
The grounds for a formal appeal against a
- the alleged parking contravention did not occur;
- the penalty charge, (or release or storage charge), exceeded
the relevant amount;
- the Traffic Regulation Order was invalid;
- you were not the owner of the vehicle when the alleged
- when the vehicle was parked, it had been taken without your
- you are a hire company and have supplied the hirer’s name and
For further details on making a formal appeal, visit Traffic
Penalty Tribunal's web site.
In addition to the legal grounds for making formal appeals, the
are obliged to consider all
mitigating circumstances presented to them. Guidelines have been
established to assist Parking Services’ staff in this process.
These guidelines provide a consistent framework for reaching
decisions across the county, whilst allowing each individual
circumstance to be considered on its own merits.
Details of how to make an appeal are outlined on the reverse of
the PCN and further details can be found from the 'Pay or challenge your parking ticket online'
Note: Once a
has been issued, it cannot be
cancelled by a Civil Enforcement Officer, so please do not ask.
Threatening behaviour, verbal or physical abuse towards
s will not be
tolerated, and will be reported to the police. Instead, please make
a representation to the issuing council who will consider the
circumstances of the
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