Parking decriminalisation in Henley will come into effect on 1 November 2021 and will mean that Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) will take over enforcement of on-street parking bays from Henley Town Council and illegal parking on double and single yellow lines and loading bays.
In line with other areas of the country, there has been work over many years to ‘decriminalise’ those areas currently managed by the Police, in order to allow the Police to focus on other areas and ensure a simpler, more effective system of enforcement by one authority. This involved legislative changes and work between the County and District councils within Oxfordshire to agree an approach.
OCC have awarded the contract for the management of all enforcement to an outside company, Conduent. Enforcement will be carried out by Civil Enforcement Officers and by mobile units – vehicles with cameras attached – that will automatically scan parked cars and highlight any potential breaches, which are then sent to the CEOs to investigate.
OCC have proposed that the terms and conditions for using the on-street parking bays will stay as they are under the new system. However, they will also be taking recommendations from the Town Council on any suggested changes to the current controlled parking zones (CPZs) and resident parking bays.
From 1 November 2021, all permit applications will move online for residents to complete themselves. Visitor permits and contractor permits will also all be dealt with online. There will be no issuing of physical permits as everything will be linked to the car’s registration.
Permit holders will only need to submit evidence the first time they apply for a permit, or when there is any change of address or vehicle. This can be uploaded as a scan or photograph as part of the application. Permits renewed before 1 November will continue to be valid until they expire.
The Henley Town Council Information Centre will not be renewing the c.450 permits per year or send out any visitor permits. However, it is likely that there will be some who will need assistance with completing the process, at least during the first year. The Information Centre will be able to help with these, by filling out the online form on the customer’s behalf. However, it should only take about five minutes per form. It is hoped that from Spring 2022 visitor permits will also all be arranged online and the physical ‘scratchcards’ will no longer be needed.
Henley Town Council have suggested that OCC send a letter to all existing permit holders to make them aware of the changes and provide details of how they apply online in future.
OCC will be continuing their relining programme to ensure that the single and double yellow lines will be enforceable.
There may be a short grace period between the enforcement starting (1st November 2021) and issuing penalty charge notices (PCNs). During any grace period, offenders will be issued with warning notes rather than PCNs.