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Decriminalised Parking

On 10 January 2000, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council became responsible for the enforcement of parking regulations on the streets, as well as in the car parks throughout the borough.

Decriminalised Parking simply means that responsibility for enforcing on-street parking passes from the Police to the Local Authority. The most fundamental changes as far as the motorist is concerned are that Penalty Charge Notices are issued by Parking Attendants instead of Traffic Wardens and that parking contraventions are civil rather than criminal offences.

The aim of Decriminalised Parking is to:

Keep traffic moving. Roads will be kept clear of cars parked in contravention of the parking regulations. Bus lanes, taxi ranks, disabled bays, and junctions will also be kept clear, thereby improving safety and easing congestion.

  • Support local Businesses. Areas of short-term parking such as outside local shops will receive more attention. As drivers will no longer be able to park for more than the time stated, it will be easier to find a space when you need it. This will also benefit local traders.
  • Support Town Centre needs. Commuters and other drivers requiring long stay parking will be encouraged to use appropriate long stay car parks, freeing town centre short stay spaces and residents' zones for drivers who need them.
  • Increase parking for residents. Residents currently paying for permits to park near their home will continue to benefit from local authority enforcement. The Parking Attendants will also be able to take action about cars that are parked on adjacent yellow lines. It is possible that more permit zones may be introduced in response to community needs to deter commuter parking.
  • Increase Blue Badge benefits. Increased enforcement of parking spaces for disabled drivers will improve availability for Blue Badge holders.

General Information

  • There will not be a target for the number of tickets that a Parking Attendant must issue. They are salaried staff and have undergone comprehensive training to achieve nationally recognised standards of competence.
  • Local authorities are not profit making organisations. They are there to provide a service to the local community. Some authorities will generate a surplus both from drivers who park in contravention to the regulations and those who pay to park. Any surplus will be used by the authority to improve traffic conditions and must be spent in accordance with legislation.
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