PARTS of Oxfordshire suffering from bad parking problems will see changes in enforcement this year set to be the 'most significant in decades' .

From November, the way parking is controlled in South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse and Cherwell is set to be replaced with a new system in a bid to create safer roads and help traffic flow more freely.

The Government has approved Oxfordshire County Council's bid to take on responsibility for civil parking enforcement. 

The council already enforces parking in Oxford City and West Oxfordshire and will now take over from Thames Valley Police in the three other districts, ensuring continuity across the whole county.

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As part of the arrangement, there will be extra on-street 'pay and display' car parking spaces in the three districts, which are intended to help market towns in the post Covid-19 recovery period as it leads to a greater turnover of spaces, which is better for shops and businesses.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for highways management, pointed out that at the moment, residents in these affected districts are suffering from motorists who park with 'near impunity'.

He added: "This is one of the most significant changes the county will be making in decades, and we are delighted to be bringing this change in.
"Finally, we will be able to take control of managing parking offences and give local communities more input into parking enforcement in their local areas.

"We are determined to make walking and cycling easier and safer and to improve bus services, and one way to do this is to improve the flow of traffic by penalising drivers who clog up the roads through inconsiderate parking and who put pedestrians, cyclists and other road users in danger."

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The county council will be carrying out an information campaign in the run-up to November 1 to let drivers who are currently flouting the rules know that they can no longer get away with it. 

Parking offences, which include overstaying in pay and display bays, double-parking, parking in disabled bays without a blue badge and on yellow lines, will be enforced by a contractor on behalf of the authority.
Penalty charges range from £50-£70 but will be reduced by 50 per cent if paid within 14 days.

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Councillor Neil Fawcett, cabinet member for strategic partnerships and place at Vale of White Horse District Council, commented on the scheme: "This is very good news for all our residents and road users. 

"Illegal parking creates congestion in our towns, resulting in a negative impact on local air quality, delays to public transport and potentially more serious issues for our emergency services."