Published: June 18, 2012
Clampdown on illegal parking in Burnham-On-Sea gets underway

Motorists who park illegally in Burnham-On-Sea town centre are being warned to expect fines this week by Somerset County Council's new parking wardens.

The council's new civil enforcement officers, pictured here in Burnham, were introduced earlier this month, but a temporary amnesty has been in place with warnings given to motorists instead of penalty notices.

From Monday June 18th, however, the amnesty was lifted and fines are now being issued.

The new enforcement powers are aimed at helping ease traffic congestion and improve safety and town centre business trade by clamping down on drivers who break the rules.

Cllr Harvey Siggs, the county council's Cabinet Member for Highways, told "This sees the start of our new responsibilities and we are pleased to be working with our contractor NSL."

"The Council is determined to bring a single approach to managing parking on our streets that will be fair to all, and we mean to enforce the rules."

"A common approach across Somerset will mean street parking regulations are treated the same way."

"Businesses, residents and schools all stand to benefit from the Council’s parking enforcement as we aim to improve traffic flow and safety on our streets."

The Council has signed a five year contract with NSL to provide this service.

Nearly 30 officers from district council parking departments at Sedgemoor, Mendip and Taunton Deane have been transferred to NSL. Others have been recruited to bring the number of civil enforcement officers to nearly 50.

The council will take over responsibility for issuing tickets in off-street car parks and on-street parking bays.

Parking on double yellow lines, in a bus stop or within a restricted area outside a school will attract a £70 penalty. For payment within 14 days there is a 50 per cent reduction.

The changes are being introduced as part of a new Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) initiative whereby power to enforce parking offences will transfer from the police to local authorities.

This transfer is also intended to allow the police to focus on tackling more serious crime and allow local councils to link parking enforcement in car parks and on-street with other local transport priorities such as reducing congestion, improving air quality and promoting road safety.

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