Pavement Parking

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted on here but I was really keen to blog about pavement parking as it can be a big issue for many people and it’s a subject which we get lots of enquiries and complaints about. Pavement parking can cause real issues for a number of people, particularly pedestrians, pushchairs and wheelchair users as it often affects their ability to use and keep to the safety of the pavement.

If a vehicle is parked on a pavement and there are parking restrictions on the adjacent highway, then it is something which Civil Enforcement Officers like me can enforce and we can issue Penalty Charge Notices but this would be because the motorist is contravening the restrictions on the highway rather than because of the pavement parking itself. For example, in the photograph below, a vehicle is parked on a pavement adjacent to double yellow lines and as there isn’t any activity taking place which would permit stopping on double yellow lines (e.g. unloading/loading of goods, passengers getting in or out of the vehicle etc.) a Penalty Charge Notice can be issued.

PavementParking 2

If a vehicle is parked on a pavement and there aren’t any parking restrictions on the adjacent highway or if there is a significant obstruction being caused, then this would fall under the responsibilities of the Police who would consider whether this was ‘wilful obstruction of the public highway’, which is an offence. In such instances you can dial the non-emergency Police line 101 who will deal with such matters at their own discretion.

Whilst this post is about pavement parking, you may also find these other posts which I’ve done about parking on dropped kerbs and blocked access of interest too:

Dropped Kerbs and Blocked Access
Who would you report this to?
Access Restricted

I hope the above is helpful and as always, if you’re a motorist, please park safely, legally and considerately.

Bank Holidays and Restrictions

With another Bank Holiday just around the corner, I thought I’d share some information about Bank Holidays and parking and waiting restrictions with you all.

At the NEPP we often get a lot of enquiries from members of the public wanting to know if waiting and parking restrictions apply on a Bank Holiday and many people presume that they don’t apply. However, most parking and waiting restrictions do apply on bank holidays as these are some of the busiest days on the roads and there is still a duty to manage the highways and ensure that roads and car parks are safe and free from congestion. If a parking or waiting restriction does not apply on a Bank Holiday then this will always be clearly signposted.

The other thing to be aware of at this time of year is seasonal parking and waiting restrictions. These are usually found in places which require more parking management during the peak season, such as tourist hot spots. Where these restrictions apply, signs detailing the dates they apply to (like the example below) will exist.

Seasonal Parking Restriction Sign

Please check all the signage before parking or you might return to your car after a lovely day out and find you’ve been issued with a Penalty Charge Notice for parking illegally which I’m sure none of you want.

I hope you’ve all found this useful and have a great bank holiday!

P.S – You may find some of my other posts about Seasonal restrictions and Bank Holidays listed below useful too.

Bank Holidays – just another day?

When could you receive a penalty charge notice?

Seasonal Restriction Results

Parking staff now using body-worn cameras

NEPP CEO wearing body-worn camera

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted on here, but today I wanted to share some North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) news with you all.

Hopefully some of you will have already read/heard about this in the media today, but just in case you haven’t, starting from today all NEPP Civil Enforcement Officers, such as myself, will now be wearing body-worn cameras whilst on duty. The NEPP’s Committee decided to provide us with these body-worn cameras due to the number of violent and aggressive incidents which we’ve experienced whilst doing our jobs.

Previously, when an incident has taken place and it’s been reported to the Police, we’ve not always had the evidence for any action to be taken against the offenders, however, now the cameras will be activated when we feel we are at risk and the evidence they record can then be used by the Police and in Courts.

We’re all very pleased to have these cameras which will hopefully mean we experience fewer of these types of incidents and, if/when we do experience abuse, we will now be able to capture this and provide the Police and the Courts with the necessary evidence for them to take action.

We will not be using the cameras to gather evidence in relation to parking enforcement and they are solely being used to protect staff doing their job and enhance our wellbeing.

Myself and my colleagues have all undertaken training on how to use the cameras correctly over the last few weeks and all the information about our policies and FAQs etc. can all be found on the NEPP’s website at https://www.parkingpartnership.org/north_policies.asp.

To find out more about the introduction of the cameras, please click here.

Seasonal Restriction Results

Signage-for-Blog-070316

Thanks to everyone who took part in last week’s seasonal parking restriction activity – it’s been my most popular poll yet!

The sign above is informing motorists that ‘No waiting’ (or parking) is permitted from 8.00am to 6.00pm during the period 1 April – 30 November. Parking on a ‘No waiting’ restriction is only permitted for blue badge holders clearly displaying their blue badge and accompanying clock (for a maximum of 3 hours) or for loading or unloading to take place. Based on this, the correct answers to last week’s poll are as follows:

You could be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) if you parked where this sign appears and were:

  • Parking on 20th June from 4.30pm – 8.00pm.
    Parking is only permitted before 8.00am and after 6.00pm so the vehicle would be parked illegally between 4.30pm and 6.00pm.
  • Parking from 7.00am – 10.00pm on the August Bank Holiday.
    Parking is only permitted before 8.00am and after 6.00pm so the vehicle would be parked illegally from 8.00am until 6.00pm. The fact that this is a Bank Holiday makes no difference as parking restrictions still apply on bank and public holidays unless there are signs specifically indicating they do not.
  • Parking on 1st April from 9.00am – 12.00pm displaying a valid blue badge but without an accompanying clock.
    Although blue badge holders are permitted to park where this type of restriction exists, they can only do so for a maximum of three hours and they must clearly display both their blue badge and an accompanying set clock. Without an accompanying clock, there is no way a Civil Enforcement Officer would know how long the vehicle had been parked and a PCN would be issued.
  • Parking on 2nd August from 9.00am – 2.00pm displaying a valid blue badge with an accompanying set clock.
    Blue badge holders are permitted to park for a maximum of three hours where this type of restriction exists (providing a valid blue badge is displayed together with an accompanying set clock). In this scenario the car would have been parked for five hours (two hours over the maximum permitted).

You would not receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) if you parked where this sign appears if you were:

  • Loading/unloading heavy goods from 8.00 – 8.30am on 21st October.
    Loading or unloading is permitted to take place where this type of restriction exists, however a Civil Enforcement Officer must see unloading or loading taking place.
  • Parking on 5th September from 9.00am – 11.30am displaying a valid blue badge with an accompanying set clock.
    Blue badge holders are permitted to park where this type of restriction exists for a maximum of three hours (in this scenario it was only for two and half) and they must clearly display their blue badge and an accompanying clock which this driver did.

All of the scenarios above are fictional, however if you were to receive a PCN for being parked where a seasonal restriction is in force and you wanted to appeal against it, written appeals can be made to the North Essex Parking Partnership. The particular circumstances of the case and any supporting evidence will be considered and the decision to either uphold and allow the appeal will be made. Further information about the appeal process can be found here.

I hope you’ve all found this really helpful and remember to keep your eyes peeled for seasonal restrictions and what they mean before you park.

 

 

 

When could you receive a Penalty Charge Notice?

With spring on the horizon many seasonal restrictions will come into force over the coming weeks and months. Seasonal restrictions are often found in places that attract a large number of visitors (and cars!) between spring and early winter and exist to control parking and help keep the roads safe and accessible during these busy periods. Many local places (particularly coastal areas such as West Mersea, Frinton-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea) have these types of restrictions and the dates and times for these restrictions will vary according to the locality.

The seasonal restriction sign below appears in West Mersea and this week I thought I’d find out when you think you could be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice if you parked where this sign appears (there might be more than one correct answer).

Seasonal

This poll will be live all week and I’ll post the correct answer(s) next week so don’t forget to come back and see the results.

The blue badge fault was…..

A big thank you to everyone who took part in last week’s blue badge poll. As promised, I can now reveal the correct reason as to why the motorist was given a Penalty Charge Notice was that ‘the blue badge was not clearly displayed’ so well done to all those who answered correctly.

When using a blue badge (disabled badge), the badge must be clearly displayed in a vehicle, as per the terms and conditions of use in the blue badge booklet, so all the details can be checked by a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO).

Blue badges are only valid for 3 years, so the expiry date of the badge must be clearly visible along with the parking clock set to the driver’s time of arrival.

Blue badge holders are permitted to park on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours, in off street car parks (for how long will depend on the car park operator), designated on street disabled bays and limited waiting bays  with their badge and clock displayed accordingly. If the details of the blue badge are obscured or the clock is not set correctly the vehicle is then parked in contravention of the restriction in place and may be given a Penalty Charge Notice.

Further information about Disabled Blue Badges can be found using the links below:

https://www.essex.gov.uk/health-social-care/health-and-social-care-for-adults/blue-badges/Pages/Blue-Badges.aspx

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/443225/blue-badge-rights-responsibilities.PDF

New Year, New Job!

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If  your new year’s resolutions was to find a new job, then look no further – we’re recruiting!

The NEPP is currently advertising for more Civil Enforcement Officers across North Essex with jobs available in Braintree, Colchester and Harlow.

To find out more about these jobs and how to apply please visit Colchester Borough Council’s website. If you’d like to have an informal chat about the job with someone from the NEPP, please contact Michael Adamson (one of NEPP’s Area Enforcement Managers) on 07939 981207 or 01279 426006.

Closing date for applications is midnight on Wednesday 13 January.