Parking fines across Suffolk will be consistent when powers are introduced next year
Motorists will face the same parking fines across the whole of Suffolk from early next year when stronger enforcement is due to take place.
The long-delayed transfer of civil parking enforcement from police to local authorities is expected to take place from the end of January in Suffolk.
It means each council will be responsible for issuing parking fines, warnings and notices in their area, although a deal has been struck by Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils to have their parking enforced by Ipswich and West Suffolk officers.
With police unable to dedicate resources currently, it is expected that once the powers transfer councils will be able to crackdown on poor parking more than police.
Last week, Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways,said a “consistent approach” is being planned across the whole county, meaning fines are to be the same regardless of which authority manages parking in that area.
However, the level of fines has not yet been disclosed.
"A consistent approach to enforcement should be adopted across the county," he said. “A parking management plan is being developed that sets out the priorities for different types of on street parking restriction, dependent on their location.
“This approach is supported by the borough and district councils. From the parking management plan, each of the councils involved will develop a parking enforcement protocol that sets out their plans for enforcement, including resourcing and how the sites are going to be visited.”
Councillor Mary Evans, Conservative, added: “Many communities in Suffolk are just plain fed up with the people who have been parking with immunity on yellow lines, or who have stayed many hours in short stay parking spaces knowing they were going to get away with it.”
Jack Owen, Labour’s highways spokesman who represents Sudbury, welcomed the consistent approach. He said: “It’s been a major problem in Sudbury over many years.
“The police, quite frankly, are almost non-existent as far as parking issues are concerned and therefore don’t have much confidence in helping us out in this area.
“If people are travelling around Suffolk they need to know what the situation is going to be wherever they are in Suffolk.”
More by this authorDan Barker