New civil parking enforcement (CPE) for Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse

Parking offences that would typically be enforced by the police will become our responsibility.

We have made an application to create new special enforcement areas (SEAs) in partnership with Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils. This means parking offences in those areas typically be enforced by the police become the responsibility of Oxfordshire County Council.

These parking violations will become civil offences. In Oxfordshire, enforcement will apply for on-street parking (roads and highways). 

The changes will result in increased, more consistent enforcement of waiting and loading restrictions, double parking offences and dropped kerb obstructions. There is already civil parking enforcement in Oxford City and West Oxfordshire. 

The new enforcement starts on 1 November 2021.

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.

Patrols

All towns and villages where there are traffic regulation orders in place will be patrolled. We will focus on areas where illegal parking is having the most impact on road safety and congestion.

We will be responsible for all on-street enforcement of parking restrictions and issue a parking fine (PCN) to vehicles that are parked in contravention of existing restrictions. Under the new arrangement, our existing enforcement contractor will extend its operations to issue fines in the new areas. Challenges and appeals will be dealt with by our existing inhouse team.

Fines

There are two levels of fine/penalty charge:

  • £70 for more serious offences such as parking on yellow lines
  • £50 for less serious offences 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 (PCN). After this time, the full amount is due.

Offences we will be responsible for

As well as permit holder parking and on-street pay and display parking, we will 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

In some areas, there are local agreements in place with town councils to enforce parking places including pay and display bays and permit holder bays. These agreements will come to an end and we will be responsible for on-street enforcement.

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.

Offences we won't responsible for

The police will 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.

Car parks remain the responsibility of district and town councils. 

Shared responsibilities

Parking across dropped kerbs where there’s a crossing point and tactile paving, double parking or parking too far from the kerb and parking on zig-zag markings at pedestrian crossings can be enforced by both us and the police.

Warning You should always follow the Highway Code and where restrictions apply there will be signs or lines to inform you of the restrictions that apply. Failure to comply may result in a fine. 
 

Administration of parking schemes

From 1 November, we will take responsibility for the administration of permits and enforcement for existing permit holder bays within the new special enforcement areas. This includes locations in Henley-on-Thames, Abingdon and Bicester. Permits issued before this date will remain valid until expiry, but for new applications or renewals, applications can be made through our permit pages.

Reporting illegally parked vehicles 

You can report areas and incidents of illegal parking using our online form.

Officers will investigate and will take enforcement action as required.

Reviewing parking restrictions

The improvement in enforcement will create opportunities for changes and new schemes such as residents only parking (controlled parking zone). 

Requests will be prioritised. Initially, we will log interest and understand the level of resources required. Successful proposals will need funding and any start-up costs would need to be externally funded through either the parish/town, district councils or via developer contributions. 

To register support and interest for formal parking restrictions or changes to existing lines use the form below. Tell us whether funding has been identified or whether consultations have been carried out with residents.

Self-financing and cost-neutral

The enforcement will be self-financing. Any extra income after administration and enforcement costs will be used to improve local transport. Our annual report details the level of income we have received, the costs of the scheme and how any surplus was spent.

Pay and display

Pay and display parking ensures there is sufficient turnover of parking spaces to allow those who wish to come and shop to do so and meet the objectives of supporting the costs for wider enforcement.

To ensure that the new enforcement is self-financing there is a requirement to introduce an element of paid parking. We are currently in discussions with local town councils and county councillors about the impact on the economy of town centres and curbside management. The background is available through the cabinet approval and associated documents (item 94/20).

New paid parking bays  

New paid parking bays will be required to operate on a cost-neutral basis. Priority locations have been carefully chosen based on a number of factors.

The priority sites fall within the towns of Banbury, Bicester and Thame and are subject to final approval, a public engagement exercise on the final proposals will take place in early autumn where residents and businesses will have an opportunity to give their feedback.

Common myths about parking

Here’s the truth behind some popular parking myths:

  • Our Civil Enforcement Officers do not get bonuses for issuing tickets. They are paid a wage.
  • Double yellow lines with double kerb ticks mean no waiting or loading at any time. You can, however, stop to let passengers in or out of your vehicle. This includes coaches.
  • Blue badges do not allow the user to park in a loading bay or close to a junction.
  • When parked in a loading bay you have to be actively loading. If you have to put items away, you must move your vehicle to a legal parking space.
  • If you don’t comply with the parking restrictions you can be issued with a penalty charge notice at night, on Sundays and on bank holidays.
  • You cannot park illegally to talk on the phone, go to the toilet, pop to the bank or buy your lunch.
  • Our Civil Enforcement Officers record all vehicle registrations when checking a time-limited parking area. They will only issue a fine if your vehicle breaches the time restrictions.