Tackling problem parking in Bristol

Councillor Donald Alexander, smiling, with College Green and trees in the background.
Today’s guest blog is from Councillor Don
Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport.

I recently joined parking enforcement officers from the council and police officers and PCSOs from Avon and Somerset Police at a Day of Action in Southmead.

This was the latest in a series of multi-agency days that see us working in partnership to patrol areas where parking issues have been reported to the council or the police.

Irresponsible parking can be obstructive and dangerous, restricting access for emergency services, pedestrians and other motorists by forcing people onto the road among moving traffic. Each week we receive around ten to fifteen reports of problem parking, and our team of dedicated parking enforcement officers patrol the city’s streets and car parks to make sure the rules are being followed.

The Days of Action are a chance for us to tackle areas where persistent parking issues have been reported to us. Our parking services team focuses on civil offences to do with restricted parking, such as parking on double or single yellow lines, in disabled bays and loading and unloading restrictions, while the police deal with illegal parking, such as obstruction offences, including pavement parking where there are no lines or restrictions in place.

Councillor Donald Alexander is seen on the right of the image, with Bristol City Council enforcement officers and Avon and Somerset police officers. They are placing a notice on a car which is on double yellow lines.

In Southmead we had been told the problem was people who were parking illegally on corners and on double yellow lines. On the day we issued 13 penalty charge notices (PCNs) and the police issued warning notices and gave advice to motorists.

Over the past year, we’ve joined forces with partner agencies, including the police and DVLA, for 15 Days of Action. We’ve carried them out and repeated them in several hot spot locations, including Southmead, Stapleton Road in Easton, Broadmead, St Philip’s Industrial Estate, and Lodge Causeway in Fishponds. 

They have been in response to parking offences as well as emerging trends, such as fast food delivery drivers waiting in restricted areas, Blue Badge fraud, and cars that are for sale that have been parked illegally. These joint operations have resulted in 174 penalty charge notices being issued for illegal parking and in some instances further action was taken, such as reporting a driver for not having insurance, driving over pavements, or failing to stop when directed by an officer. 

A red car that has been issued a parking notice, for parking on double yellow lines.

These Days of Action are good way to highlight problem parking and help to deter people who think the rules of the road don’t apply to them. Our city’s streets and pavements have competing demands for space and so I’d like to urge everyone to be responsible when parking. Remember, if you don’t follow the rules, you could be fined up to £70.

Click here to report problem parking.

At the same time our community marshals have been working with the police on joint electric scooter and electric bike awareness raising days.

On 8 December they were stationed in the city centre to address the illegal use of private e-scooters on our roads and unsafe riding. Overall, 20 riders were stopped and given advice. We have another Day of Action coming up later this month which could see illegal vehicles seized.

Find out more about Bristol’s e-scooter trial and the rules.