Car parked on yellow lines

Govt approves Oxfordshire Council’s parking enforcement changes

The way parking is controlled in parts of Oxfordshire is set to change in a bid to create safer roads and help traffic flow more freely after the government approved the county council’s bid to take on responsibility for civil parking enforcement.

Oxfordshire County Council already enforces parking in Oxford City and West Oxfordshire district and will now take over from Thames Valley Police in the Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse districts respectively.

According to the authority, this will ensure continuity across the whole county when the change comes into place, which is currently expected to be on 1 November 2021.

The new arrangement will also lead to the creation of extra on-street pay and display car parking spaces in Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse.

These are intended to help market towns in the post Covid-19 recovery period, as it leads to a greater turnover of spaces, which the council said is better for shops and businesses.

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

Commenting, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, Councillor Tim Bearder said:

“This is one of the most significant changes the county will be making in decades and we are delighted to be bringing this change in.

“At the moment, residents in these affected districts are suffering from motorists who park with near impunity.

“Finally, we will be able to take control of managing parking offences and give local communities more input into parking enforcement in their local areas.

“We are determined to make walking and cycling easier and safer and to improve bus services.

“One way to do this is to improve the flow of traffic by penalising drivers who clog up the roads through inconsiderate parking and who put pedestrians, cyclists and other road users in danger.”

The council said that motorists who park legally and responsibly will have nothing to fear from the changes.

Oxfordshire County Council will be carrying out an information campaign in the run up to 1 November in order to let drivers who are currently flout the rules know that they can no longer get away with it and if they continue, they can expect to be fined.

Parking offences, which include overstaying in pay and display bays, double parking, parking in disabled bays without a Blue Badge and on yellow lines, will be enforced by a contractor on behalf of the council.

Penalty charges will range from £50-£70, but will be reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days.

Once civil enforcement comes into force, members of the public will be able to report areas and incidents of illegal parking through a dedicated email address and telephone line.

Officers will investigate and take enforcement action as required.

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