Civil Parking Enforcement – What is it?
Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) is when the criminal aspect of illegal parking is removed and parking becomes a civil matter. A local authority (Town, District or County) takes responsibility from the police to enable them to enforce against illegal parking, using Civil Parking Enforcement Officers.
- Oxfordshire County Council was approached formally by South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Council's in August 2018, to investigate implementing CPE. This scope was expanded to include Cherwell District Council – the 3 areas in Oxfordshire without CPE.
- To take on the powers for civil enforcement, County Councils are required on behalf of the District Councils to make an application to the Department for Transport. When making an application for CPE, authorities can either apply to be a Civil Enforcement Area (CEA) or a Special Enforcement Area (SEA). CEA covers civil parking enforcement of waiting and loading restrictions, whilst a SEA includes additional powers to also enforce dropped kerb obstruction and double-parking offences. SEA is considered most appropriate for Oxfordshire (Oxford City and West Oxfordshire are currently managed via SEA's).
- An Officer led working group (with representation from South and Vale, Cherwell and Oxfordshire County Council) was established to form a feasibility study, which found that CPE was appropriate for the respective districts.
- The independent feasibility study recommended that CPE was appropriate for Oxfordshire and found the most cost-effective way to manage it was via a Council led model.
- Implementation of CPE has received support from Senior Officers at all involved Councils. Approval is now being sought from each respective Cabinet to progress an application to implement CPE.