Release Date: 06/07/2012
Richmond Council has seen a dramatic drop in formal complaints against the service following the introduction of its Fair Parking policy.
In 2010/11 the service received 50 formal complaints compared to 12 for the same period in 2011/12. Since Fair Parking was launched there has also been a rise in the number of compliments the service have received by 230% (from 33 compliments in 2011 to 109 in 2012).
This coincides with a rigorous training programme that was given to all staff in the Parking department following the Council’s forward thinking policy change last year. When the Council’s Fair Parking policy was introduced in October, Community Enforcement Officers were re-trained and told to give drivers who might commit a parking offence advice and warnings rather than issuing a ticket straight away. The Enforcement Officers were also trained to give basic tourist and travel advice to people on the streets.
At the launch the policy, the Leader of the Council, Lord True, made it clear that ticketing cars parked in Community Parking Zones a minute into the start of the restrictions must not happen.
The re-training was one element of the Fair Parking policy, which also saw the Council remove a number of yellow lines, introduce 30 minutes free parking to encourage residents to shop locally and make photographs of any parking contravention available on the Council website.
Cllr Chris Harrison, Richmond Council’s Strategic Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene, said:
“We have worked hard to make parking fairer for motorists in the borough and have spent a lot of time and energy retraining our Civil Enforcement Officers to ensure a firm focus on customer service. We are delighted by the figures and believe they reflect the sea change that has taken place in our approach to parking enforcement.
”Of course if a motorist has genuinely committed an offence they will be ticketed. But we are fair and reasonable in our approach.”