Annual parking enforcement report 2020-21
Herefordshire is one of the most rural and sparsely populated counties in England, with a population of 191,000. It includes Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury, Leominster, Bromyard and Kington.
The Council has thirty nine car parks (approximately 4,500 spaces) across the county most of which are chargeable and have around 2 million visits a year.
There are also over 1600 on-street parking spaces available in the main centres of the county, most of which are currently free and generally controlled by means of limited waiting restrictions. Some of the streets in Hereford city centre are controlled by way of parking charges with a maximum stay of two hours permitted.
Parking charges are in place to ensure the effective management of parking, including the turnover of spaces to help with availability, reducing congestion and improving air quality.
In general terms the council's parking policy seeks to support the council's aim to encourage the use of alternative and more sustainable modes of transport to the private car such as walking, cycling and public transport. However, it is recognised that, in a predominantly rural county like Herefordshire, many journeys will continue to be undertaken by car and as such the overall supply of parking needs to be sufficient to support the economic vitality of Hereford and the market towns.
Herefordshire Council is responsible for the enforcement of the on and off-street parking restrictions throughout Herefordshire by the way of a team of Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) who are employed directly by the council and whom patrol every day of the week including some evenings.
The council's CEOs are also authorised to inspect disabled persons blue badges and in cases where they believe a badge is being misused they have the power to seize the badge and report the matter, allowing further investigation which can lead to the driver being prosecuted.
We have written a parking enforcement and appeals operational guidance for the purpose of clarification and to assist motorists.
By publishing the operational guidelines it is hoped that the motorist will see that Herefordshire Council is committed to dealing with parking enforcement in an open, fair and consistent manner.
New developments 2020/21
The parking service was hugely impacted in 2020/21, like many others, by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic where use of travel was heavily restricted and the demand for parking space fell.
During this time, car parking charges were suspended for a total of around four months, the Bus Station and Venn's Close car parks were closed to members of the public and reserved for NHS and emergency workers. NHS staff and other key workers were also given a free parking permit to use on all of the council car parks.
This allowed for the Civil Enforcement Officers to be redeployed to support the police in the enforcement of social distancing, challenging members of the public gathering in parks or outside spaces.
A new contract to provide cashless parking by phone was awarded to RinGo and took effect from 5 October 2020. This was beneficial to motorists with the transaction fee to pay for a parking session dropping down from 36p to 16p.
In the support of the growing popularity of electric vehicles new rapid charge points were installed in some of the council's off-street car parks allowing these vehicles to charge up much more quickly than they previously could.
We produce the following statistics:
- Penalty Charge Notices issued
- Breakdown of Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) issued by parking contravention
- Informal or formal representations made
- PCNs cancelled
- Number of PCNs cancelled following formal or informal representations
- Appeals to adjudicator
- Penalty Charge Notices issued and paid
All income and expenditure in connection with the council's on-street charging and all of its enforcement activity, both on and off-street, is governed by section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as amended. This required that any surplus is used for specified purposes, namely the provision of car parking facilities, public transport road improvement projects or environmental improvements.
The financial information that has to be provided for this report does not include the car park income. If the CEOs did not patrol the car parks and carry out basic front line repairs to the pay and display machines, it is likely that income would be much lower as there would be no incentive to pay the parking charges.
The income and expenditure for Parking Services (excluding income from car parks) for the financial year 2020/21 with the previous two years for comparison was as follows:
|PCN income off street (car parks)||145,722||252,840||220,492|
|PCN income on-street||297,470||444,074||422,182|
|Resident parking permits||87,433||83,714||83,940|
|On-street pay and display||146,041||355,535||274,532|
|Supplies and services||58,843||67,220||63,244|