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Reduced observation period put in place to make roads safer

Following approval from St Helens Council’s Cabinet, as from Monday 29 January 2018, reduced observation periods will be in force for vehicles parked on yellow lines.

For vehicles parked in a restricted street/loading bay where there is no evidence of loading/unloading taking place, a Civil Enforcement Officer will observe the vehicle for a period of five minutes for a private motor car, and ten minutes for a goods vehicle. If, during the observation period, no evidence of loading/unloading is seen, the Civil Enforcement Officer will have the right to issue a Penalty Charge Notice.

The loading/unloading activity must be a continuous process; however vehicles can be present in a restricted street/loading bay for as long as it may take to complete the process.

An ‘instant’ Penalty Charge Notice may also be issued in exceptional circumstances where the Civil Enforcement Officer has evidence which supports the action of issuing the Penalty Charge Notice without observing the vehicle for the minimum periods indicated.

Previously, the adopted observation period was 15 minutes for all vehicles prior to the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice. However, this extended observation period has caused difficulties in enforcing restrictions, particularly around schools. This has led to complaints from residents, ward councillors and businesses, largely as a result of indiscriminate parking and the apparent lack of action being taken to carry out Civil Parking Enforcement.

The purpose of this change in policy is to ensure that all parking restrictions across the borough are enforced appropriately, making sure there are fewer incorrectly parked cars, resulting in fewer accidents, better traffic flow, clearer road and pavements, making it safer for all road users.

Councillor Terry Shields, Cabinet Member for Green, Smart and Sustainable Borough said: “These changes will ensure that our parking contractor can deal with those road users who choose to ignore parking restrictions which has become an increasing problem particularly around our schools. The best way to avoid a parking fine is to abide by the restrictions, don’t take the chance and please park appropriately.”

The Cabinet report can be read in full here: moderngov.sthelens.gov.uk/(S%20(yzni2ijv2bcexwatwwramu2l))/documents/s68718/Cabinet%20Report%20-%20Civil%20Parking%20Enforcement.pdf

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