The final piece of preparation for Wokingham Borough Council's application for Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) powers has this week (29 September) been agreed by the council’s decision-making executive.
The executive had already approved the principle of the application being made to the Department of Transport (DfT), but before the council can officially apply specific resolutions defined by the DfT had to first be agreed.
These resolutions set out the basic legal, financial and operating shape of the Wokingham Borough enforcement, as well as things the council must do before it starts CPE.
Now members have agreed to the resolutions, it's hoped the CPE application will be submitted to the DfT early next year, and if accepted the borough council take on its new powers by autumn next year.
CPE means the borough council would take over the police’s role to legally enforce parking breaches such as on double yellow lines, double parking or parking across dropped kerbs, parking in a residents’ parking zone without a permit and overstaying time-limited bays.
Many local people and businesses already think Wokingham Borough Council has CPE powers and support the move.
Thames Valley Police currently has parking control responsibility in the Wokingham Borough, but supports the council’s bid to take over this role and bring the borough in line with other Thames Valley councils.
It means the council would also be able to tackle cars obstructing verges and pavements where they are parked next to yellow lines - making things safer and more accessible for pedestrians and motorists.
The new powers would harmonise enforcement at both on and off-street parking locations, and allow the council to better manage parking schemes for residents and businesses.
"Applying for CPE powers is complex and these resolutions are part of this process," said Cllr Malcolm Richards, executive member for highways and transport.
"There's an awful lot of work going on behind the scenes. We've been checking and mapping all the existing traffic regulation orders (TROs) across the borough, looking at all the existing parking signs and road markings to make sure they’re clear. There will be a great deal of advance notice and information to inform and prepare motorists and residents, long before the CPE starts.
"This change in parking controls is important work, because with CPE powers we’ll have the muscle to tackle congestion and improve road safety and improve parking fairness for everyone."