North Devon District Council covers an area of 244 square miles on the North Devon coast. The resident population is approximately 91,500, which can grow significantly in the summer months due to the number of tourist resorts within the area. The main towns/villages covered within our district are Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, South Molton, Combe Martin, Woolacombe, Lynton and Lynmouth, Croyde and Braunton.

Background

In May 2008 the necessary powers were granted by the Secretary of State for Transport, in the form of a Statutory Instrument, designating the County of Devon as a Civil Enforcement Area. In Devon we currently operate a two tier system of local government and therefore this power applies equally to the district owned off-street car parks as well as the on-street parking restrictions. Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) in Devon is being delivered via an agency agreement established between the County Council and each of the district partners. The agreement is for the provision of Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs), employed by the district councils, who carry out the enforcement duties on-street for the processing of penalty charge notices (PCNs), including consideration of challenges and appeals as well as processing payments of the charge.

Civil Parking Enforcement

As stated above Civil Parking Enforcement commenced in our off street car parks on the 5th May 2008 in accordance with the Traffic Management Act 2004 (as amended).

For further information regarding on street enforcement for the district of North Devon, please contact Devon County Council, Civil Parking Enforcement Manager on 01392 382244 at County Hall, Exeter or email: christopher.rook@devon.gov.uk.

On street enforcement was under review by Devon County Council during 2013/14. Notice was served on North Devon Council to cease on street parking enforcement. North Devon Council as from the 1st April 2014 will cease to do on street parking enforcement in North Devon but will continue to enforce our off street car parks.

North Devon council has 45 car parks, which provide a total 4,187 parking spaces, for a full list of our car parks please follow the link below.

The council currently employs 6 full time civil enforcement officers to carry out enforcement duties in its off street car parks between the hours of 8.00am to 6pm each day. Please see North Devon Council’s Off Street Parking web page for a full list and information regarding our car parks.

Enforcement Process

The Parking office aim to ensure that all penalty charge notices are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner and in accordance with the Traffic Management Act 2004. We have the following information included on our website to ensure all customers are well informed of the penalty charge process, Appeals Representation procedure, Cancellation of Penalty Charge Notices and Internal Parking Appeals Procedure. Please see the Penalty Charge Notice Guidance on North Devon Council’s website.

North Devon Council Achievements for off street parking 2013 - 2014

During 2013/14 we have continued to support local events and ensure an enforcement presence for the smooth operation of local events such as The North Devon Festival, the carnivals in various towns across the district, fun fairs in various locations, Birdman, Rescue Day, Food Festival and Christmas events. All events went well and we continue to support these events in the coming years to ensure a good movement of traffic flow and enforcement for parking issues.

We have also continued to support and work alongside DVLA to issue CLE2/7 forms to notify of Tax expiry on vehicles.

The RingGo mobile payment service continues to be available in all our pay and display car parks. This provides an alternative payment service for the customer by paying for parking by mobile phone. It also provides the service of purchasing another pay and display ticket without having to return to your vehicle and an alternative to cash payment when not having any change! The service has now been in place for over 3 years and has seen customer use increase and currently at least 3 percent of our customers pay by mobile phone. This service is available in all our pay and display off street car parks. Please see North Devon Council’s off street parking web page for more details on RingGo.

We also work closely with the Devon and Cornwall Police and have worked on various joint initiatives. All our CEO’s check the car parks for any sign of criminal activity and also in order to prevent any theft from vehicles issue warning notes to owners warning of the dangers of leaving valuable belongings on show.

North Devon Council has continued to support our agency partners Devon County Council for enforcement of on street parking in the districts areas. However this ceased on the 1st April 2014.

In order to continue the parking service for our off street car parks, the parking team was tasked to re structure. Devon County Council requested the on street Civil Enforcement Officer’s to be TUPED across for the in house function for DCC. The six Off street Officers are now solely to enforce off street car parks, this will be done in a different uniform so to differentiate from the on street officers and alleviate any confusion for the customer.

Department For Transport Survey

Local Authority Parking Enforcement Survey: North Devon Council Off-Street 2012 2013
Report run on 03-10-2014


Question

1a Number of PCNs issued for higher-level parking contraventions? 606
1b Number of PCNs issued for lower-level parking contraventions? 5,670
1c Total number of PCNs issued? 6,276
1d Number of PCNs paid at the discount rate? (50 percent of full rate) 4,145
1e Number of PCNs paid at the non-discount rate? 700
1f Total number of PCNs paid? 4,845
1g Total number of PCNs unpaid? 1,431
1h How many applications were made to register road traffic debts at the Traffic Enforcement Centre? 374
2a How many PCNs issued by CEOs (Civil Enforcement Officers) were the subject of challenges for statutory and non-statutory reasons (pre and post-NTO)? 2,353
2b How many PCNs issued using evidence from approved devices were the subject of challenged for statutory and non-statutory reasons (pre and post-NTO)? 0
2c Total number of PCNs challenged at pre and post-NTO stage? 2,353
2d As a result of these challenges, pre and post NTO referred to in part c, how many PCNs, which were subsequently found in the opinion of the local authority, to be incorrectly issued, were cancelled for statutory reasons? Ie., wrong location, incorrect of missing signage lines, TMO inaccuracy, etc.  77
2e As a result of these challenges, pre and post NTO referred to in part c, how many PCNs, which were ‘in the opinion of the Local Authority correctly issued’, were cancelled or waived through the use of discretion on mitigating circumstances or due to evidence being supplied? Ie., proof of loading or breakdown, etc. 929
2f Total number of pre and post challenges cancelled, or waived following a pre or post NTO challenge against a PCN? 1,006
2g How many of these challenges (part c) resulted in cases going to adjudication? 29
2h How many PCNs were written off due to admin error, motorist untraceable or debt deemed to be uncollectible, ie. out of jurisdiction? (These PCNs would not normally have been counted in part d or e)? 108
3a Does your authority use immobilisation or removal of vehicles?  No
3b How many vehicles were immobilised (ie. wheelclamped)? 0
3c How many vehicles were removed? 0

The above table is submitted to the Department of Transport on an annual basis and is a requirement for all enforcement Authorities under the Traffic Management Act 2004. This report was run as at the 3rd October 2014.

Financial Account 2013 - 2014 for Off Street Parking

Expenditure on Parking Account 13/14 348,350.02
Income on Parking Account 13/14 -166,104.45
Total (Surplus)/Deficit -182,245.57

The table above shows the off street parking account for the financial year 2013/14 with a deficit of £182,245.57.

Conclusions

Our prime objective for our parking service is to provide parking in line with our vehicle parking strategy for North Devon in consultation with other transportation partners. We strive to provide safe, clean and affordable parking in all our car parks.

Overall in our fifth year of operation in accordance with the Traffic Management Act 2004, we have continued to provide a fair and consistent approach to parking enforcement. This can be seen from the table of our Department for Transport survey above which shows that 43 percent of representations made by customers have been cancelled as a result of an informal or formal challenge on a penalty charge notice. This figure has decreased compared to last year. The statistics also show that 91 percent of penalty charge notices issued is at the lower level payment band, this is due to the fact that most contraventions occurring off street are subject to the lower rate. The percentage has increased slightly for this year, and indicates that enforcement has again remained consistent. The statistics also show a reasonable recovery rate of penalty charge notices at 77 percent for off street parking, which is an increase of 10 percent compared to last year. Please note that the recovery rate figures are taken, as at 3rd October 2014, these statistics will change over time due to continued recovery of parking debt.