Enforcement of parking restrictions aims to reduce the number of illegally parked vehicles on our roads. This, in turn, will reduce traffic congestion, improve road safety, and improve accessibility for all road users, including Blue Badge holders.
Who is responsible for enforcing parking restrictions?
The Department for Regional Development’s (DRD) Roads Service takes responsibility for the enforcement of most parking restrictions.
On-the-ground enforcement is provided by Roads Service’s contractor, currently NSL Services Group, who employ the Traffic Attendants.
Traffic Attendants are expected to issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), commonly known as parking tickets, to vehicles which are detected as illegally parked.
A penalty charge is not a fine, it is a civil charge owing to a civil authority, that is Roads Service. This type of enforcement is known as Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE).
Certain offences, such as dangerous parking or parking causing an obstruction, have not been decriminalised and the responsibility for the enforcement of these remains with the PSNI.
Does NSL Services Group receive any payment which is based on the number of parking tickets (PCNs) issued?
Traffic Attendants are employed by NSL Services Group (NSL). NSL Services Group receives no payment which is based on the number of parking tickets (PCNs) issued.
Do Traffic Attendants receive any payment which is based on the number of parking tickets (PCNs) issued?
Traffic Attendants receive no payment which is based on the number of parking tickets (PCNs) issued.
Is parking enforcement just a money-making exercise?
Making money is not an objective of parking enforcement. The objective is to discourage illegal parking by issuing a penalty to those who park illegally.
What happens to the money raised by payment of parking tickets (PCNs)?
All money raised by the payment of parking tickets (PCNs) is used, along with income from car-parking and other charges, to supplement the overall financing of Roads Service by Central Government.
Roads Service’s Parking Enforcement Unit, in conjunction with its contractor NSL Services Group, is responsible for on-street parking enforcement and enforcement within Roads Service car parks. It is not responsible for the provision of parking restrictions.
Enquiries about the introduction or amendment of parking restrictions should be directed to the appropriate Traffic Management section within each of the Roads Service divisions.
For contact details please see:
DRD Roads Service has no responsibility for parking restrictions or enforcement action on private ground, for example shopping centre/ supermarket car parks, hospital grounds and car parks.
Footway (pavement) parking
Where parking restrictions are marked on the road, for example yellow lines, those restrictions also apply to the footway (pavement). Therefore parking tickets (PCNs) can be issued to vehicles which are parked in contravention of the restrictions.
Footway (pavement) parking is not permitted at any time along the length of urban clearways and parking tickets (PCNs) can be issued to vehicles parked in contravention.
Apart from urban clearways, there is no general ban on footway (pavement) parking. Where there are no parking restrictions marked on the road, parking tickets (PCNs) cannot be issued to vehicles on the footway (pavement). If, however, a problem of obstruction arises as a result of vehicles parked on a footway, that situation is a matter for, and can be dealt with by, the PSNI.
Parking ticket or Penalty charge notice (PCN)
If you get a parking ticket - known as a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) - you will be required to pay £90. However if you pay within 14 days of getting the ticket a 50 per cent discount will apply and you will only have to pay £45.
This discount is offered because early payments reduce administration costs for Roads Service.
Keeping streets clear
A lot more effort is being put into keeping the streets clear of vehicles parked in contravention of the restrictions. This will bring about many positive changes including:
- helping traffic to flow more freely
- helping buses keep to their timetable
- assisting delivery vehicles
- allowing pedestrians to feel safer crossing the road without illegally parked cars causing obstruction
- keeping parking places reserved for Blue Badge holders for those who need to use them
Clamping and removal
Currently, clamping and removal operations are used for debt recovery purposes, that is where parking tickets (PCNs) have not been paid.