About decriminalised parking enforcement
What is DPE?
DPE stands for Decriminalised Parking Enforcement. It describes the process for controlling parking and the issuing of fines (Penalty Charge Notices). It makes the offence a civil matter (dealt with by the council) rather than a criminal one (dealt with by the police).
Why has Midlothian Council introduced DPE?
Due to other competing priorities the police are unable to fully resource parking enforcement within the Midlothian Council area. As the council consider parking control is essential to manage our road network safely and to ensure the smooth flow of traffic, it was seen as essential that the council should take on this responsibility.
Can Midlothian Council hand parking enforcement back to the police?
No – there is no hand-back option.
Will the police still have any involvement in parking matters?
The police will continue to deal with all moving vehicle offences and vehicles which are parked causing an obstruction and parking on pedestrian crossings (zig-zags).
What benefits will the council derive?
The council will be able to directly deploy our parking attendants to areas where there is a need to manage parking problems. We will be able to direct patrols around schools (School Keep Clear Markings) and will see safety benefits due to improved visibility at junctions, as well as operational benefits due to extra lane capacity.
Are all councils introducing Decriminalised Parking Enforcement?
Not all councils have decriminalised parking but with the withdrawal of police enforcement (by traffic wardens) most are likely to do so. City of Edinburgh Council has been operating Decriminalised Parking Enforcement since 1998 and our neighbouring authority (East Lothian) has a scheme in place.
Have additional resources been required to implement or run DPE?
Only financial resources have been required to date. Operationally there is a cost to implement and run a DPE operation.
Will this simply be a money making exercise?
No – the council expects to run at a slight loss. However, if any annual surplus is derived it will be re-invested into improvements to the network e.g. car parks being resurfaced or simply to fund on-going revenue costs associated with parking. All costs are held in a separate parking account.
Do parking attendants have targets to meet?
No - there will be no target for the number of PCNs that a parking attendant must issue.
What will the level of a parking fine be?
The fine, or Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is set nationally at £60, although this is reduced by 50% to £30 if paid within 14 days.
Can I pay my fine on-line?
Yes - we have set up an online payment process and you will be able to pay over the phone with a debit or credit card. A dedicated number will be printed on the Penalty Charge Notice.
Can I pay cash to the Parking attendant?
No. Parking attendants will not be able to take any payments. Details on how to pay will be on the ticket issued.
How will I know the identity of a Parking Attendant?
All Parking Attendants will require to wear a uniform and a hat. They will be clearly identifiable and will have a unique badge number and Midlothian Council logo.
What evidence will be collected along with the Penalty Charge Notice?
All Parking Attendants will use an electronic hand-held device that stores general information such as time / date / location and produces the ticket. Each Parking Attendant will take photos of the vehicle and of the relevant signs and road markings.
How do I know what restrictions are on-street?
All on-street restrictions except 'No Waiting at any time' (double yellow lines) legally require to have associated signs (TRO plates associated with road markings) erected at prescribed intervals. These should be referred to by drivers when parking in restricted areas.
Are there any mitigating circumstances and who decides if Penalty Charge Notices are cancelled?
All appeals are dealt with in writing only. This is the only way that a PCN can be formally challenged. No verbal discussions will be allowed. Written appeals are dealt with by a controlled process and in accordance with the operating procedures and within fixed timescales.
If I receive a PCN will I get penalty points on my driving licence?
No - penalty points are only received for offences dealt with by the police.
Will any of the existing Traffic Regulation Orders be amended?
In order to get DPE up and running all our existing Traffic Regulation Orders (Legal document that states where all on-street restrictions are in force) are being consolidated into a Midlothian-wide order.
Will my car get towed away?
The council will have the power to instruct tow-aways, although we don’t envisage this as being necessary from the outset. If persistent offenders are found to be avoiding payments, then action may have to be taken in respect of towing away vehicles. The Police still retain powers for towing away vehicles under their own powers e.g. obstructions and for either safety & emergency reasons.
Will I get a Penalty Charge Notice if I park in a disabled bay?
If you don’t hold a valid blue badge, then you are liable to be given a Penalty Charge Notice. Even if you hold a valid blue badge but simply fail to display it properly, or it has expired, you may still get a PCN.
What will happen if I park in a bus bay or at a bus stop?
You will receive a Penalty Charge Notice if you park on the wide single yellow line within a bus bay marking or if another on-street restriction exists.
Are there any restrictions within Public Car Parks?
Yes - there will be a Traffic Regulation Order that separately covers Pay and Display car parks. This order will ensure that anybody who overstays paid time, parks outwith a marked bay or restricts access will be liable to receive a Penalty Charge Notice.
Can I park on a single yellow line to pick up or buy something?
No - unless you park at times when the regulations are not in force. The times of operation will be shown on adjacent signs usually located near the kerb side. Parking for even short periods within these times is not permitted and you could be issued with a PCN.
Can I park on a yellow line if there are no signs indicating times?
No, not all restrictions need a sign. For example, double yellow lines indicate "No waiting at any time" and do not require a sign.
What happens if I don't pay the Penalty Charge Notice?
You will receive a Charge Certificate which increases the value of the PCN from £60 to £90. If the penalty charge remains unpaid the Charge Certificate will be passed to debt recovery agents for collection.
Will the restrictions apply on public holidays?
The following days of the year are designated as “ parking holidays” and will be exempt from parking enforcement:
1 January, 2 January, 25 December and 26 December.
If any of these days fall on a Saturday or Sunday in a particular year, then the next available weekday will be a parking holiday.