Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.
The history of parking
within the UK relating to all Roasd Traffic Acts and
the introduction of parking Zones
with everything else they do, the power of councils
to enforce parking regulations derives ultimately from
Acts of Parliament.
Traffic Act 1984 first enabled councils
to enforce certain parking acts, although parking offences
were dealt with and enforcement action taken through
the criminal court system. A considerable number of
parking offences, primarily those concerning restricted
(yellow line) parking remained the responsibility of
the police and the police traffic warden service.
Traffic Act 1991 brought about a number
of key changes in the above arrangements. Parking "offences"
enforced by councils were "decriminalised" and brought
within the civil enforcement system. At the same time
a number of additional enforcement responsibilities,
such as restricted (yellow line) parking, were removed
from the police and also given to councils.
The provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1991 were first implemented
by the 33 London Boroughs during 1993/94. Since the late 1990s an
increasing number of councils outside London have also taken up
decriminalised enforcement powers. It is these councils in England
and Wales, (not including London), for whom the National Parking
Adjudication Service provides the independent appeals service required
by the Road Traffic
Before any council can take up decriminalised enforcement powers
it must first prepare a detailed proposal which is submitted to
the Secretary of State for Transport (in England) or for Secretary
of State for Wales. Only once this has been approved and the council's
scheme is deemed to be viable, will permission be given to prepare
for and introduce a decriminalised parking enforcement regime.
Legal powers to implement the scheme are granted formally through
the enactment of what is known as an Order in Parliament, through
the Statutory Instrument process. All councils operating decriminalised
parking must be in possession of such an Order, known as a Special
Parking Area Order (SPA Order), before they commence enforcement.
Along with the Acts of Parliament mentioned above, the Road Traffic
(Parking Adjudicators) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999
(S.I. 1999 No. 1918) govern the management and conduct of parking
appeals in England and Wales (outside London).
The Transport Act 2000 (Section 144) provides for Regulations
to be made allowing any council in England that already has the
power to enforce parking contraventions in the decriminalised scheme
to undertake the civil enforcement of bus lane contraventions. These
regulations, the Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication
and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 (ST2005 No 2757), came
into force on 1st November 2005. Unlike parking, both the police
and the council have the power to enforce bus lane contraventions;
however, if the police take criminal proceedings in respect of the
bus lane contravention the council must cease enforcement and cancel
their penalty charge notice.