The way parking is controlled in Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse districts is set to change as the government has approved Oxfordshire County Council’s bid to take on responsibility for civil parking enforcement in these areas.
The council already enforces parking in Oxford City and West Oxfordshire and will now take over from Thames Valley Police in the Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse districts, ensuring continuity across the whole county when the change comes into place, which is currently expected to be on 01 November 2021.
The new arrangement will also lead to the creation of extra on-street pay and display car parking spaces in Cherwell district. These are intended to help market towns in the post-COVID-19 recovery period as it leads to an increased turnover of spaces, which is better for shops and businesses.
The aim is for the new arrangement to be self-funding, with the extra pay and display spaces helping to pay for enforcement costs.
Any motorists who park legally and responsibly will have nothing to fear from these changes. Oxfordshire County Council will be carrying out an information campaign in the run-up to 01 November to let drivers who are currently flouting the rules know that they can no longer get away with it. If they continue, they can expect to be fined.
Parking offences, which include overstaying in pay and display bays, double-parking, parking in disabled bays without a blue badge and on yellow lines, will be enforced by a contractor on behalf of the council. Penalty charges range from £50-£70 but will be reduced by 50 per cent if paid within 14 days.
Once civil enforcement comes into force, members of the public will be able to report areas and incidents of illegal parking through a dedicated email address and telephone line. Officers will investigate and take enforcement action as required.
Councillor Dan Sames, Cherwell District Council’s Lead Member for Clean and Green, said: “This will change how problem parking is enforced within Cherwell District. Enforcement will change from police officers and PCSOs to enforcement officers employed by Oxfordshire County Council.
“Those flouting parking regulations can expect to be dealt with more vigorously than in the past, which should deter inconsiderate and problem parking across the district. Three enforcement officers will operate initially with their focus mainly being in Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington, with other areas being dealt with as needed.”