Connect with us

News

£500,000 ‘significant’ shortfall threatens civil parking enforcement for Fenland

In Wisbech alone the costs of works needed prior to CPE is put at £260,000.

Avatar photo

Published

on

A ‘significant’ shortfall in the region of £500,000 threatens the introduction of civil parking enforcement (CPE) in Fenland. “Unless further external funding is obtained or internal funding allocated, the implementation of CPE would be unviable,” the Cabinet of Fenland District Council was told. 

And even if agreement can be reached, and the money found, chaotic, carefree, and shambolic parking will continue for at the very least two more years.

A report to Cabinet Monday said that the total estimated set-up cost was now £900,000 – £400,000 of it due to come from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Delays to the scheme – first agreed in principle in 2019 – were described as “very frustrating” by Cllr Jan French at Monday meeting.

CPE would mean an end to reliance on police for parking enforcement across all 4 Fenland towns and hand it over to Fenland Council and the introduction of enforcement officers.

But to do that means agreement with Cambridgeshire County Council and the costs involved that includes correcting defects found in 294 road traffic signs and 743 lining defects.

In Wisbech alone the costs of that are put at £260,000.

Cars that caught the attention of police in Wisbech, Whittlesey and Chatteris. But police can only devote a limited amount of time to the issues. CPE will hand responsibility for parking to Fenland Council.

Car that caught the attention of police in Wisbech; but police can only devote a limited amount of time to the issues. CPE will hand responsibility for parking to Fenland Council.

Cabinet agreed to delegate the leader Cllr Chris Boden and his deputy, Cllr French, “to take advice and negotiate the red flag issues arising from the draft agency and service level agreements and to report back to Cabinet if agreement cannot be reached”.

A chart produced for Cabinet shows that nearly £600,000 is required to complete work in the four Fenland towns.

Councillors were provided with these projected costs:

Whittlesey:

44 signs and 150 lining issues: £93,459.71

Chatteris:

56 signs and 89 lining issues: £86,894.67

March:

55 signs and 148 lining issues: £96,197.26

Wisbech:

139 signs and 356 lining issues: £262,077.75

The total estimated cost of £592,393.33 includes a 10 per cent contingency uplift.

The report says that following funding approval from Cambridgeshire County Council in February, works began on developing the design work packages for the traffic regulation order sign and line rectification works.

And the draft application to the Department for Transport for a Civil/Special Enforcement Area Designation Order for the introduction of CPE in Fenland was also prepared in February by the county council in partnership with FDC.

However no further work on the application can be undertaken until:

  • agreement has been reached by both authorities on the CPE agency and service level agreements and a sealed agreement is in place.
  • correction work funding for the TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) sign and line works has been approved.
  • an updated CPE implementation programme has been agreed including a delivery timeline for all remedial work.
  • FDC’s preferred enforcement and administration service provider should also have been determined.

The report says the design work packages prepared by the county council’s contractor Milestone have been used to inform target costs for each of Fenland’s four market towns and surrounding villages.

The design package works have been prepared based on sign and line defects which were rated as poor at the time of the TRO survey.

“The TRO survey works were undertaken in November 2021 and therefore it is inevitable that further lining defects will undoubtably exist,” says the report.

Cars that caught the attention of police in Wisbech, Whittlesey and Chatteris. But police can only devote a limited amount of time to the issues. CPE will hand responsibility for parking to Fenland Council.

Car that caught the attention of police in Chatteris. But police can only devote a limited amount of time to the issues. CPE will hand responsibility for parking to Fenland Council.

“Lining which at the time was considered to be in fair condition (remedial work action needed within two years) will now likely need to be included.

“At this stage it is not known which organisation would fund defects noted during the initial TRO survey as being fair, however it is estimated that such additional lining works could cost in the region of £53,853.94.

“This figure is purely an estimate and has been based on 10% of the lining query costs.

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

“It is understood that the large uplift in the previously advised estimated target costs is the result of Milestone now having obtained estimates from one of their preferred sub-contractors.”

Councillors were told: “It is important to note that civil parking enforcement relates only to the enforcement of static restrictions e.g. loading bays, double and single yellow lines etc and not moving traffic offences such as speed limit signs, driving in cycle lanes, one-way systems, and no entry restrictions etc.

“The enforcement of moving traffic offences will remain a police responsibility.

“Whilst the corrective signing works are not weather dependant, the lining works would need to be undertaken during the spring/summer months.

“The county council have advised that FDC would need to place a purchase order for the corrective works with Milestone to enable the contractor to plan resources.

“Should there be any substantial delay in placing the order for the works, the target cost would need to be reviewed.”

“The formation of the agency and service level agreement remains the priority and following common ground being found between both authorities, officers will continue to pursue enforcement and administration options.”

A key issue is that the county council requires FDC, as agents, to become responsible for the administration of all parking suspensions, waivers, and dispensations on the highway.

Cars that caught the attention of police in Wisbech, Whittlesey and Chatteris. But police can only devote a limited amount of time to the issues. CPE will hand responsibility for parking to Fenland Council.

Car that caught the attention of police in Wisbech; but police can only devote a limited amount of time to the issues. CPE will hand responsibility for parking to Fenland Council.

“To date members have indicated this would not be deemed acceptable due to the additional resource implications this would place on FDC,” says the report.

“However, some common ground on the various red flag clauses will need to be found prior to seeking legal advice.

“The detail within the agreements will impact on both the necessary Fenland Council resources needed to operate CPE and the annual revenue deficit placed on Fenland Council for the term of the agreement.”

The report says that under the agency agreement Fenland Council would need to provide a suitable and sufficient level of enforcement.

“Future changes in legislation such as pavement parking would influence the level of enforcement required which would likely increase operational costs,” says the report.

“Currently the county council do not have a specific budget for sign and line maintenance and Fenland Council officers are not aware of any proposal to make suitable provision.

Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) transfers the powers and responsibilities for on-street enforcement from the police to the highway authority. FENLAND

Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) transfers the powers and responsibilities for on-street enforcement from the police to the highway authority. FENLAND

“Whilst under the terms of the agreement the county council would likely remain responsible for sign and line maintenance, there would be huge enforcement challenges for Fenland post CPE implementation if PCN’s (parking fine and penalty charge notices) cannot be issued due to continued poor signs and line maintenance.”

Cabinet heard that “time is of the essence” to reach agreement by October 2024 to enable sufficient time to deliver both the corrective sign and line works and the enforcement and administrative service procurement.

The report said that by using the cheapest external service provision model it is now predicted the annual FDC CPE deficit will be £45,469.20 per year based on an operational expenditure of £227,346 within the first 5 years.

“The greatest project risk remains affordability in terms of the rising implementation cost associated with the corrective sign and line costs,” says the report.

“The initial estimated cost for the corrective works based on other local authority CPE implementation projects was £140k.

“However due to the usually high number of sign and line defects picked up during the TRO survey within Fenland, the cost of the sign and line corrective works is currently estimated to be £592,393.33.”

Councillors heard that the application for the CPE order will need to be made by April 2025 to allow sufficient time for the order to be implemented before the grant funding ends and CPE go live date of December 2025.

Cabinet also heard that “an unusually large amount of sign and line defects” were recorded within Huntingdonshire (who also plan to introduce CPE) during the TRO survey works, with a large proportion of the defects being located within St Neots.

County council officers completed a review of the TRO queries and predicted the Huntingdonshire corrective sign and line work costs to be in the region of £950k; an increase from the previously estimated cost of £280k.

Cabinet was told the only alternative to CPE for Fenland is “to continue as is now with the police carrying out any enforcement duties although this is not seen as a priority area of focus for the police.

“Additionally given the current non-compliant status of the vast majority of the districts’ signs and lines enforcement in any guise is considered challenging at present”.

Facebook

Read More

Cambridgeshire Police control room utilised GoodSAM to find the lorry after one of the men dialled 999 to say they couldn’t breathe. Cambridgeshire Police control room utilised GoodSAM to find the lorry after one of the men dialled 999 to say they couldn’t breathe.
News14 hours ago

Six migrants rescued from refrigerated lorry between Ely and Soham

'The caller stated they couldn’t breathe, before the call dropped out'

Camp Beagle wishes to close down MBR Acres, a huge beagle breeding factory near Huntingdon, which supplies about 2,000 puppies a year to toxicology testing laboratories across the UK. Above is John Curtin who has been banned from the area. PHOTO: Camp Beagle Camp Beagle wishes to close down MBR Acres, a huge beagle breeding factory near Huntingdon, which supplies about 2,000 puppies a year to toxicology testing laboratories across the UK. Above is John Curtin who has been banned from the area. PHOTO: Camp Beagle
News18 hours ago

Camp Beagle campaign organiser arrested and banned from Huntingdon

GoFundMe appeal launched to fund John Curtin’s legal costs

McSpadden (right) was in breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) when he went into Tesco with Momot (left) and stole crème eggs worth £59.40 McSpadden (right) was in breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) when he went into Tesco with Momot (left) and stole crème eggs worth £59.40
Crime19 hours ago

Chocs away – crème egg shoplifter from Wisbech jailed for 9 weeks

'McSpadden and Momot are prolific shoplifters in Wisbech who blatantly disregard the orders of the court'

A Stagecoach spokesperson said re-opening the section will see ‘journey times between the Biomedical Campus and Cambridge Railway Station radically reduced to less than 5 minutes’. A Stagecoach spokesperson said re-opening the section will see ‘journey times between the Biomedical Campus and Cambridge Railway Station radically reduced to less than 5 minutes’.
News21 hours ago

Stagecoach ‘delighted’ at re opening of key section of Guided Busway

In 2022, the Busway was named by the Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s 10 most beautiful bus routes

Florin Buti, 19, of Ridgwell Road, London, denied rape and fraud by false representation, but he was found guilty following a trial at Peterborough Crown Court Florin Buti, 19, of Ridgwell Road, London, denied rape and fraud by false representation, but he was found guilty following a trial at Peterborough Crown Court
News22 hours ago

Three men jailed for total of more than 28 years for raping woman in Cambridge

'Buti and the other defendants in this case clearly went looking for a woman to attack'

Running between Friday 19th April until Thursday 25th April, special screenings will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Luxe cinema, Wisbech Running between Friday 19th April until Thursday 25th April, special screenings will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Luxe cinema, Wisbech
News23 hours ago

The Luxe Wisbech: 15 Years of Movie Magic!

We have always seen ourselves as part of the heart of the town

MP Steve Barclay visits Whittlesey to promote election prospects for police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston and a local Conservative by election candidate. Videos made by Mr Barclay were ordered to be removed from a town council Facebook page MP Steve Barclay visits Whittlesey to promote election prospects for police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston and a local Conservative by election candidate. Videos made by Mr Barclay were ordered to be removed from a town council Facebook page
News2 days ago

SPECIAL REPORT: Fenland Council orders MP Steve Barclay’s videos to be removed from Whittlesey Town Council Facebook page

'I have also requested that any reference to Whittlesey Town Council is removed'

The School for Scandal is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 13 then touring The School for Scandal is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 13 then touring
News3 days ago

REVIEW: ‘Immaculate performances’ in The School for Scandal at Cambridge Arts Theatre

The School for Scandal is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 13

A 33-year-old man from Huntingdon has now been arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. A 33-year-old man from Huntingdon has now been arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Crime3 days ago

Police arrest man who allegedly brandished imitation firearm in Huntingdon

'At about 7pm a man produced the firearm and pointed it at someone'

Whitemoor Prison, March, Cambridgeshire, where forensics experts are looking for DNA and other evidence after a prison officer was seriously assaulted. PHOTO: Bav Media Whitemoor Prison, March, Cambridgeshire, where forensics experts are looking for DNA and other evidence after a prison officer was seriously assaulted. PHOTO: Bav Media
News3 days ago

GoFundMe appeal to help family of prisoner officer seriously injured by Whitemoor inmate

As a result of being assaulted, he has spent almost 3.5 weeks in intensive care