More parking enforcement for Peterborough as 45 tickets issued on one street over a year

More parking enforcement officers are expected to be recruited in Peterborough.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 4:55 am

City council assistant director for community safety Rob Hill said he was looking to bolster the 12-strong team to help tackle illegal parking.

Mr Hill was responding to comments from Granville Street resident Matthew Leeden who used the first Ask the Leader session on Zoom to highlight the problem of illegal driving and parking where he lives.

This includes around several schools, with a child said to have been hurt by a vehicle overtaking a badly parked car.

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The driver instructor addressed his frustrations to council leader Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, in particular over drivers taking up resident-only bays without having a permit.

He also highlighted “lots of illegal parking” which he spotted during his day job and can make it difficult for the emergency services to get to incidents.

In response, Cllr Fitzgerald said: “I also drive around and get frustrated by bad parking. I’m on the case with officers about parking enforcement - I see it isn’t good enough, personally speaking.

“I feel quite strongly about trying to get on top of that because I recognise, particularly with people paying for residential parking, they want to see a scheme that is for residents.

Illegal parking outside a school in Peterborough

“There are areas with badly parked vehicles which perhaps do come under police (authority) because it would break the Highway Code.”

He added that he had been lobbied over similar issues in other areas of the city, for example East ward, but that budget constraints due to reduced government funding had impacted the ability to hire increased parking enforcement.

Mr Hill explained that enforcement is carried out by the council unless it is deemed to be a risk to public safety.

He added: “The challenge is we have 12 parking officers that operate across the whole city, and of those 12 officers they’re not all together at the same time. The reality is we’re probably putting six across the city at any one time.

“And they have other commitments as well, so it can be quite a challenge for us in terms of demand.

“When we know we have an issue in an area we’ll focus on that. It has to be demand led because of that number of resource. But there are also some areas across the city which we have to give attention to, such as schools.

“We are focusing in on this and I am looking to recruit extra resources. And we are looking at how we might focus more on public demand around the city so there’s a better link. So if you’re telling us there’s a problem we’re quicker to get on top of it.”

Mr Hill said 45 tickets had been issued in Granville Street - which is near Park Road - in the past 12 months, adding: “You might think that’s not enough, but it’s quite significant as it’s an area we do target.”

Mr Hill also explained that cameras cannot be used in many cases as tickets can only be issued for double yellow and illegal residential parking if a qualified officer has seen it.

However, both himself and Cllr Fitzgerald agreed to takeaway feedback that the replacement of a physical parking permit for an online permit had prevented residents from self-policing the issue.

Cllr Fitzgerald added: “No system is perfect, but I feel that now is perhaps the time to put it under the spotlight again and turn a bit of scrutiny on our parking services and try to improve outcomes for our residents.”