Why we need civil parking enforcement
Management of waiting and loading restrictions will help us in our wider transport objectives to:
- Reduce blocking of major routes by incorrectly parked vehicles
- Reduce parking in disabled bays by non-badge holders
- Improve traffic management and parking restrictions
- Encourage safe parking
- Reduce congestion and improve air quality
- Help emergency services and public transport
Areas we enforce
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 9 bus gates/bus lanes, the Zero Emission Zone and Moving Traffic restrictions.
Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse
In November 2021 a new Special Enforcement Area (SEA) came into effect, and from this date the County Council took responsibility for enforcement of on-street parking offences which were typically enforced by the police.
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. The agreement is due to end of March 2023, and from the 1 April 2023 the County Council will take responsibility for on-street enforcement.
Cherwell District Council car parks
From 1 April 2023, the County Council became responsible for carrying out enforcement of the district council car parks in Cherwell on their behalf. Challenges and Appeals against Penalty Charge Notices issued are dealt with by our in-house teams.
There are two levels of fine/penalty charges for parking contraventions:
- £70 for more serious contraventions such as parking on yellow lines
- £50 for less serious contraventions such as overstaying in a limited waiting bay
You will only have to pay half the charge if you pay within the shorter time shown on your Penalty Charge Notice. After this time, the full amount is due.
What we are responsible for
As well as permit holder parking and on-street pay and display parking, we are also responsible for enforcing:
- Double and single yellow lines
- Limited waiting bays
- Loading bays
- Zig-zag markings at schools (if restrictions apply)
- Pedestrian crossings
- Double parking (parking too far from the kerb)
- Blue Badge bays
- Taxi ranks
- Parking in bus lanes and stops
- Parking across dropped kerbs where there’s a crossing point, with or without tactile paving
Enforcement officers are permitted to inspect any Blue Badge displayed in a vehicle. If a badge is being misused a fine will be issued and may result in the badge being revoked or prosecution. If an offence is detected that would merit the seizure of the badge, then authorisation would be requested from the council.
What we are not responsible for
The police continue to be responsible for dealing with:
- dangerously parked vehicles including where there are no parking restrictions in place such as on bends, brows of hills and junctions
- obstruction offences - pavement with no parking restrictions
- moving traffic offences including double white lines, one-way traffic, white hatched areas and box junctions.
You can report these issues to the police by calling 101.
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 that 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 remaining surplus can only be used to fund transport-related improvements within the city, including 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.