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Lack of resources puts brakes on civil parking enforcement in Fenland

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Civil parking enforcement across Fenland could be delayed until the end of 2025, the district council has admitted.

Although the council was awarded £400,000 two years ago by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA) to introduce it in all four Fenland towns, there have been major delays.

Police officers from the Wisbech Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) “have had cause to remove two vehicles from The Crescent and Union place as they were blocking the war Memorial where a service was going to take place at 11am for Armistice Day”.
Friday 11 November 2022.

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

And in turn the powers for enforcement are handed down to local district councils.

CPE decriminalises parking enforcement across each district.

But in a new report published today, CAPCA says Fenland District Council has asked them for a “project grant longstop completion date” to be extended from March 31, 2024, to December 31, 2025.

“The extended longstop is to enable sufficient time for completion of the traffic regulation order review, preparation of detailed works packages, works procurement and for the remedial sign and line works to be undertaken during favourable weather conditions,” says the report to today’s CAPCA board meeting.

“The county council and their appointed framework contractors do not have sufficient internal resources to complete the required tasks within the current funding deadline with completion of this fundamental task being outside of Fenland District Council’s control.”

The board was told that the county council have advised that the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) review and preparation of detailed works packages will take 15 months to complete.

Work on the detailed design works packages is scheduled to commence this month.

Before Christmas, Steve Cox, executive director of place and sustainability for the county council, outlined a projected timetable of when CPE will come into force in each area now going through the legal process.

South Cambridgeshire – December 2023

Fenland – May 2024

Huntingdonshire – October 24

Mr Cox explained that once the wheels are in motion – and a designation order signed off – it cannot be rescinded.

If Government approves, the county council will be responsible for both the enforcement and administration of any on-street restriction.

However, all, or part, of these responsibilities can be delegated to the districts via an agency agreement.

Fenland District Council via the funding grant from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA), have agreed to cover all associated set-up costs.

FDC have also committed to covering an estimated annual operational deficit of £45-£75k.

“It is not expected that CPE in Fenland will be self-sufficient,” says Mr Cox.

“Unlike other districts, the opportunity for the introduction of paid for parking to off-set any deficit is limited.”

 

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