Newmarket town councillors have been asked for their views on a county-wide strategy which could finally see parking restrictions in the town enforced.
Currently drivers who park illegally on double yellow lines and on pavements get away without receiving tickets as only police can issue them and the task is very low on the force’s list of priorities.
Civil parking enforcement (CPE) was introduced nationwide in 2004 giving local authorities the power to police parking in their districts but Forest Heath is one of just 20 out of 327 across the country which have not yet introduced it.
In Suffolk, only Ipswich has introduced CPE. Forest Heath is one of five of the remaining Suffolk authorities including its neighbour St Edmundsbury, with which it will be amalgamated next year, still waiting for approval, according to government figures updated last month.
According to David Stiff, Suffolk’s CPE implementation manager: “The county council, police and district and borough councils are committed to introducing CPE across the whole of Suffolk from April 2019 subject to approval by the Department of Transport.”
A spokesman for the department said it was “working closely” with authorities to speed up applications but the county’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore has already been told his deadline of approval by next month will not be met.
The consultation document now under consideration by town councillors includes six key policies including the possible introduction of residents’ parking zones, which the county has funded expensive consultations into at least twice before, and CPE.
A letter to the town council which met on Monday described parking in the town centre as “a nightmare.”