Decriminalised parking enforcement (DPE) is the name given in the United Kingdom to the civil enforcement of car parking regulations, carried out by civil enforcement officers operating on behalf of either a local authority or a private firm.
Eighteen Scottish local authorities currently operate DPE, primarily in the more urban areas of central Scotland. The remaining 14 local authorities have yet to formally pursue DPE and have, until recently, continued to rely on their local police officers for parking enforcement.
Police Scotland removed the traffic warden service from 3 February 2014. This has reduced the amount of parking enforcement now being undertaken in many areas, with ad hoc support from the Police continuing in non DPE areas, focussed on illegal parking causing hazard or danger and blue badge misuse.
A collaborative approach to delivering DPE in local authority areas where this has been deemed desirable was considered by the programme board to be the optimum solution to benefit from associated efficiency gains and utilise best-practice from those authorities already delivering a DPE service. The project also addressed the issue of the requirement to update Traffic Regulation Orders.
A project steering group was formed within COSLA with representatives from all local authorities with a remit to review the outputs of the project. A smaller technical working group was also established, firstly, to agree the scope of the project and the specification to carry out an options appraisal to review collaborative options, and then to review the outputs.
A specialist supplier with experience in designing DPE delivery solutions was engaged to undertake an appraisal of DPE delivery options and to provide helpful information on the DPE process, including business case templates.
Local authority roads services completed two surveys to gather high-level information on status of delivering/implementing DPE and appetite to share services in this area. They also aimed to increase understanding of issues relating to updating TROs.
This project was substantially completed in November 2014, but further work may be needed if and when local authorities make individual decisions around taking on DPE powers.
The results remain available for those who may want to implement DPE in the future. This work also directly led to a partnership arrangement between Glasgow City Council and East Renfrewshire Council.