Costs and Benefits of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement
COLDS H and DICK I, Ove Arup and Partners, UK
Decriminalised parking enforcement (DPE), with the local authorities issuing parking tickets and not the police, was introduced in London in 1994, for all roads except the main arterials. The local authorities collect the penalty charge fees to assist in
Decriminalised parking enforcement (DPE), with the local authorities issuing parking tickets and not the police, was introduced in London in 1994, for all roads except the main arterials. The local authorities collect the penalty charge fees to assist in funding enforcement costs.
Many authorities outside London are considering DPE but the benefits in many areas are not necessarily sufficient to cover the costs involved. The authors have been responsible for introducing DPE in Watford (Oct 1997) and Sandwell (April 2000) and have undertaken feasibility studies for many other authorities, covering areas ranging from major cities to large rural areas.
The financial equation is more favourable in larger towns and cities than in more rural areas, as the overheads of establishing the enforcement organisation are serving a high level of enforcement activity. In major cities the net benefits of moving towards DPE can be several million pounds a year, which under UK legislation can be retained by the authority for spending on other transport investment and services. In smaller authorities the balance may be marginal, and in some of the studies we have undertaken joint authority enforcement operations are the most economical way of organising for Best Value.
An analysis of the costs of enforcement and the likely revenue from parking tickets allows the comparison of the factors that can indicate the likely financial balance of DPE in different authorities, based on size of town centres, density of development, and length of controlled kerbspace in an authority area.
The paper will describe the process of introducing DPE and will also consider the traffic management and community benefits deriving from DPE, including evidence from a comprehensive post implementation review in Watford. The role of effective enforcement in and integrated transport strategy will be illustrated in various towns and cities. The benefits of traffic management powers and enforcement of those powers being the responsibility of the same authority, and the benefits of funding enforcement from ticket income, will be demonstrated.
Association for European Transport