About Civil Enforcement
How our Civil Enforcement Team manages parking in Oxfordshire, and our parking policy.
On this page
Enforcement in Oxford City
We have been responsible for on-street parking enforcement within the city of Oxford since February 1997.
Our civil enforcement team enforces the controlled parking zones throughout Oxford and is responsible for issuing permits within the city. The team is also responsible for the enforcement of seven bus gates/bus lanes within the central Oxford area.
Under an agency agreement, Oxford City Council maintains and enforces the Thornhill and Oxford Parkway (formally known as Water Eaton) Park and Ride sites owned by the county council.
Enforcement in West Oxfordshire
West Oxfordshire became a civil enforcement area in 2009 and an agency agreement is in place with West Oxfordshire District Council to provide on-street enforcement.
Enforcement in Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse
In partnership with the district councils for Cherwell, South Oxon and Vale of White Horse, an application has been made to create new special enforcement areas (SEAs) in the remaining districts of Oxfordshire. This will see parking offences that would typically be enforced by the police, transferred to become the responsibility of the county council.
Under the new arrangement, the county council’s existing enforcement contractor will extend its operations to cover the new SEAs and challenges and appeals will be dealt with by our existing in-house team.
The new SEAs will come into effect on 1 November 2021 - find out more.
For information on how much it costs to run the parking services we supply, see the council's Statement of Accounts. Each year we have to report on our civil parking enforcement income and expenditure:
The council is a member of the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) Adjudication Joint Committee (which produces an annual statement of accounts which is subject to external audit), and The Bus Lane Adjudication Service Joint Committee:
- PATROL Adjudication Joint Committee - Annual Statement of Accounts
- The Bus Lane Adjudication Service Joint Committee - Annual Statement of Accounts
Under the Road Traffic Act 1991, money received from on-street parking fines (penalty charge notices) is 'ring fenced', and the regulations are very strict on what that money can be put towards. Money received from penalty charge notices issued within Oxford city is offset against the administrative costs of providing the parking enforcement service and in employing the contractor (NSL Services) to carry out the enforcement services.
Any surplus that remains can only be used to fund transport-related improvements within the city, which includes Thornhill and Water Eaton Park and Ride sites.
The Traffic Penalty Tribunal compiles independent reports on the performance of all local parking authorities.
If you have a question about a specific parking issue (eg a query about a parking ticket), please go to the appropriate web page in the parking section to find out who you should contact. If you have more general comments or wish to complain about or compliment the service, then please contact us.