Illegal parking no longer criminal

Cropped car and yellow lines
Cropped car and yellow lines

ILLEGAL parking will be decriminalised if Wakefield Council agrees to take over enforcement powers from the police next week.

Most non-endorsable offences, such as parking on yellow lines and misusing car parking spaces, will be dealt with as civil matters if a new Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) scheme is approved.

The police would still have sole responsibility for dangerous parking, obstruction offences and a full range of moving traffic offences.

A report set to go before the council’s cabinet committee on Tuesday said police wished to see more enforcement but had “limited resources at their disposal to run an effective service”.

The report said West Yorkshire Police had just four traffic wardens to cover the entire district.

But the council has 16 civic patrollers in its parking services team – and plans to introduce a further eight.

Andy Wallhead, the council’s corporate director for regeneration and economic growth, said: “CPE will help keep the district moving by making sure that vehicles are parked properly to reduce congestion on roads and improve safety to road users and pedestrians.

“By introducing CPE we can ensure that time limits for the length of stay in our parking areas are observed, making more parking spaces available.

“Managing our car parks in this way will support development in our city, town and village centres to keep them viable.”

The scheme was put on hold in 2008 when cabinet members decided the council could not afford first year set-up costs of over £150,000.

But the report said set-up costs for the scheme were now within available resources, and that it was hoped a first-year cost of £33,000 could generate revenue of £72,000 per year in subsequent years.

The report said it would take at least a year before the scheme could be implemented.