NHDC stop parking fines on Letchworth roads due to potential enforcement issue

PUBLISHED: 09:25 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:26 15 February 2018

NHDC will review issued penalty charge notices from Leys Avenue and Eastcheap in Letchworth after identify a ' potential issue' with regualtions. Picture: Google Maps

NHDC will review issued penalty charge notices from Leys Avenue and Eastcheap in Letchworth after identify a ' potential issue' with regualtions. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

Enforcement of parking fines has been temporarily suspended on two roads in Letchworth after North Herts District Council admitted it had identified a potential ‘issue’ with current regulations.

It has come to light that penalty charge notices issued on Leys Avenue and Eastcheap in the town centre may not have been properly enforced in line with government laws.

According to an anonymous source, fines have been enforced on these roads but, due to lack of appropriate traffic signs, have not actually been enforceable.

He told the Comet: “All the parking tickets that have been issued there would not stand up in court. The regulations for enforcing on those particular streets have not been adhered to.

“It’s come to light that the correct road signs on those streets are not there, therefore it has not been enforceable. There’s been a huge amount of revenue raised from these roads.”

Meanwhile the council has admitted there may be a problem on the streets and is investigating.

Councillor Ray Shakespeare-Smith, executive member for policy and transport, said: “We have recently identified that there may be an issue with the current traffic regulation order for Leys Avenue and Eastcheap.

“NHDC officers and Herts County Council officers are currently looking into this matter.

“Until this work is complete the Council has suspended its enforcement and would ask that anyone who parks in this area does so in a considerate manner. In light of this enquiry, we are reviewing all previously issued PCN’s to ensure they were properly enforced.

“We are committed to ensuring Traffic Regulations Orders in operation are compliant with the current legislation and will keep residents informed of the situation.”

According to the Traffic Management Act 2004 authorities should assess parking policies and enforcement regimes when reviewing their Local Transport Plans.

It states that ‘appraisals should take into account the adequacy, accuracy and quality of traffic signage and road markings which restrict or permit parking’.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 guidance to local authorities on the Civil Enforcement of parking contraventions says: ‘It is particularly important to check the policies are properly underpinned by Traffic Regulation Orders that are valid, up-to-date and properly indicated with traffic signs and road markings’.

‘Flawed orders may be unenforceable, and can damage both aims of civil parking enforcement and the public perception of how it is managed.’

It is also stated authorities should not issue penalty charge notices when signs and markings are incorrect, missing or not in accordance with the Traffic Regulation Order.

PCN’s can cost between £25 and £70 and can be enforced on all on-street and some off-street parking.

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