More on pavement parking

Many residents were interested to read the article about the Exeter Act 1987 in our latest Newsletter. Many Cowick residents have contacted me about this – and the information even seems to have reached other wards, I’ve heard that Alphington residents are asking Cll Margaret Clark abouthe Exeter Act and the proposed intention for Civil Enforcement Officers to issue penalty notices for pavement parking from the Autumn.

The Exeter Act 1987 states:

The matter has been discussed at many meetings of the joint Devon County Council/Exeter City Council Highways and Traffic Orders Committees [HATOC]

To summarise
HATOC considered a report on the meeting on 2 February 2012 which resulted in the following minute:

118 Parking on Pavements and Enforcement
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen had asked that the Committee consider this item)

The Committee noted the report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management (HTM/12/4 – text only | pdf ) on proposals for the County Council to take over parking enforcement from the Police (decriminalisation) regarding provisions within an Exeter City Council local Act implemented in 1987 in respect of prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways.

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that the Department of Transport has now published a Statutory Instrument that amends the schedules in the Traffic Management Act to decriminalise prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways in Exeter City. The County Council would now check that the signs indicating the restricted areas and publicise that the provisions would now be enforced by Civil Enforcements Officers (and not the police). Current exemptions where permitted would still be applicable.

It was MOVED by Councillor Hobden, SECONDED by Councillor Leadbetter and
RESOLVED that this development be welcomed and that the new provisions be implemented as expeditiously as possible following appropriate consultation and publicity

Please note the resolution that the provisions of the Exeter Act be implemented as soon as possible.

The officers mentioned in the discussions on the report that they believed this could be in place to start enforcement in the autumn.

At the meeting of 24 April, this issue was again discussed by the committee:

*132 Implementation and Enforcement of Parking on Footways and Verges
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Macdonald has requested that
the Committee consider this item.

(Councillor Bull attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that a review of the signage and their replacement was underway. Implementation of the new enforcement powers by the County Council (through the Civil Enforcement Officers) was planned for September 2012. Exemptions would be permitted under the regulations.

My enquiry was based around people parallel parking over their own dropped kerbs, which it seems will be permitted as and when the provisions of the 1987 Act are implemented.

Yesterday I received the following response from the Highways Management Traffic Orders team about the timetable for implementation of the 1987 Exeter Act

Pavement Parking – Exeter
Thank you for your e-mail regarding pavement parking in Exeter.

We do not yet have a date when enforcement of Section 30 of the Exeter City Council Act 1987 will begin as we are still reviewing the signage required to enforce the restriction.

It appears that Devon County Council are in discussions with Department for Transport as there is a requirement to sign this restriction at each ‘gateway’ into the city (not too onerous) and provide repeater plates reminding motorists of the restriction every 450m or so similar to speed restriction signs (which is a major challenge).

The amount of signs needed would run into a cost of tens of thousands of pounds as well as adding to ‘signage clutter’ on the Highway.

DCC are approaching DfT to say this is rather a sledgehammer/walnut approach and trying to find out if there is there another solution.

Also, as this is a stationary vehicle offence, enforcement will be by Exeter City Council’s Civil Parking Enforcement Officers acting as agents for Devon County Council rather than D&C Police. I have been informed that their has been very little dialogue between officers at Devon County and Exeter City Councils since the spring.

So to surmise, the implementation if this is in the hands of the County Council, and I am doing my best to ensure this is implemented as soon as possible.

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