Transfer of parking enforcement powers in Suffolk to go before Parliament for final approval
Changes to parking enforcement powers in Suffolk – expected to bring tougher crackdowns on nuisance motorists – have been laid before Parliament for the final go-ahead.
Parking enforcement powers will be transferred from police to local councils from April 6.
The change must formally go through the Houses of Parliament, with the order having been laid there on Thursday.
A three-week period, where MPs can ask to debate it, must now take place and, once signed off from January 30, preparations will be made for the changes to be introduced in the coming months.
During that time, police will still enforce parking, a Suffolk Highways spokesman confirmed.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, has been vocal about the delays in the change – which was meant to happen a year ago before Brexit dominated the Parliamentary timetable.
“I am absolutely delighted to see progress being made at last,” said Mr Passmore.
“Moving the responsibility for parking to local authorities will free up police time for them to deal with more urgent issues, which makes perfect sense and that is why I committed £190,000 from the constabulary’s reserves to help establish the scheme.”
The change is expected to bring about tougher enforcement, as stretched police services cannot currently dedicate time or resources to the issue.
Councils will have specialist teams for parking, who can also monitor problem spots.
Crucially, money collected from parking fines can be retained by the councils and put back into services, rather than be sent to central government as police have to do.
Elisabeth Malvisi, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Cracking down on nuisance parking in our district is important to keep traffic moving in our towns and villages, and to enable our communities to have closer management of local parking challenges.
“By working with our partners across the county, we can tackle the issue in Babergh, supporting pedestrians, vulnerable road users, public transport services, drivers and emergency services to use roads more safely.”
More by this authorJason Noble, Local Democracy Reporter