Enforcement officers in Thanet hand out 13,006 penalty charge notices in one year despite depleted team

Parking charge notices Photo RAC

Traffic enforcement officers in Thanet issued 13,006 penalty charge notices in the 2023/24 financial year (1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024) despite having less than half the workforce needed by the authority.

A report to councillors says the majority of fines were for on street infringements such as parking on double yellow lines.

It adds that 9704 of the penalty charge notices were paid either within the 14 day discount period or in full, 779 were cancelled or written off and 1057 have been sent to the bailiffs for recovery.

Some 7 cases were taken to appeal at tribunal, 2 were accepted, 2 dismissed and 3 were not contested.

Officers say: “Some cases are still ongoing as they span more than one financial year which is why the numbers don’t neatly add up.”

The Civil Enforcement Team  work seven days a week from early morning until late at night. Their role is restricted to the enforcement of traffic regulation orders, enforcing double yellow lines, single yellow lines, parking bay infringements and failure to pay and display.

They are unable to enforce obstruction of the highway, driveways or pavement parking, these are all enforced by the police.

Thanet council needs 11 full time equivalent enforcement officers but has been working with between 3 and 5 over the past year due to recruitment difficulties.

In March councillors heard job adverts for the roles, advertised as temporary to permanent for £13,09 per hour  (approx. £23k per year) on a 37 hour week, had not been advertised on the council website and were also taken down by HRGO.

The report to councillors on the Thanet Joint Transportation Board says: “A significant effort has been undertaken over the last year to attract and retain Civil Enforcement Officers including an increase to the market supplement introduced last year.

“There has been a successful round of recruitment with assistance from an agency which has seen one new officer join in May, two due to join at the beginning of June and one later in June. This will bring us up to seven officers.

“We have halted the recruitment drive with the agency until these officers are trained. Once they are trained we will look to recruit again.”

68 Comments

  1. It’s a growing problem, vehicles parking on yellow lines making it difficult to get around the streets of Thanet, it’s something that needs to be sorted.

  2. I asked a guy to move his car ( I use a walker) which was blocking a drop kerb at Westgate shops, he done nothing but throw abuse. not even seen a warden at Westgate to report issues,

  3. The cars should be crushed, and the drivers given a 5-year ban! Seriously. Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders before cars.

  4. Yellow lines have been put on the road i live on ,but they are not legal ,because street furniture has not been put in place.The hospital road has allegedly a 20 mph speed limit ,but again the street furniture shows 30 mph, what is legal and what is not,and before ,the usual suspects state ,don’t break the speed limit ,I don’t,how do people stand legally

  5. So it seems drivers are more likely to be penalised for parking on double yellow lines than on the pavement. Guess that explains something!

    • Ridiculous, I agree – but cars aren’t the only problem. Just this morning I witnessed someone in a disability scooter fourced into a busy road because dustman are too lazy to put empty bins back in gardens!

    • That’s because it’s not a power TDC have, it’s still something the police need to deal with but won’t. Councils don’t really want the power as our roads have too many cars on them for the parking avaialble and size of the roads.
      First step should be a concerted effort buy the authorities ( tdc, police, dvla etc) to remove all the illegal cars and drivers from the roads and then see what the situation is in respect of parking and driving standards. But that ain’t going to happen either.
      As for the TDC parking department , as dishonest and evasive as it’s possible to be.

    • I believe that parking on the pavement isn’t actually illegal.
      However, driving on the pavement is – so a police officer (not traffic warden as it’s a driving offence) would need to catch someone in the act of parking to fine them.
      Not TDC’s fault.

      • Obstructing the pavement is an offence. It’s OK (outside London) to park on the pavement, as long as you don’t drive on it or obstruct it.

    • Where parking on the pavement exists where there are double yellow lines on the road then they should be ticketed. Moving the vehicle onto a pavement to avoid getting a ticket is against the regulations. The Officers need better training to understand this.
      If there are no lines on the road then parking on a pavement would be a police matter if causing an obstruction.

  6. While we’re at it, can we charge people a fee (say, £5 per day) for dropping people off / picking them up outside school gates?

  7. Facts, if a car blocks people in wheelchairs
    Or pram user because of
    Vehicles parked on the pavement it is a criminal offence and police in theory should intervene ( but we know they don’t) if a vehicle is parked on the pavement which does allow pedestrians to pass , that in kent is not an offence unless it is by a yellow line in which it is a matter for Thanet enforcement officers, confused? Sorry but that what’s happens with no leadership from government

    • Careful Barry… you’ll probably have to defend Labour’s non-actions soon! Or are you naive enough to believe that parking, buses, toilets, and all other local issues will be sorted by a Labour government?

    • Mr Lewis – how about leadership from TDC, Labour controlled! Nothing changes or likely too. As for a Labour Government, they will rip themselves apart within one year.

    • It didn’t take leadership from government for the bottom-feeders at Thanet District Circus to approve the building of thousands of new houses and flats, each one bringing a car or two (two of my neighbours, each in a 3 bed house have three cars each) and causing the parking problems in the first place.

      With 9035 houses currently planned at approximately £250k each that equates to £2.25 BILLION – I wonder how many brown envelopes came out of that?

    • Or any Labour governments before it.

      Fact is, the majority of voters either drive or travel in cars. And the major political parties know that it will be electoral suicide to upset motorists.

    • Steve, would YOU ban parking on pavements? What about on roads too narrow for modern cars (i.e., most of them locally), where should they park?

      • People need to buy smaller cars or find somewhere suitable.
        It’s not difficult.
        …and I say that as someone who drives a larger car but is happy to walk.

        • I’ve been trying to persuade my other half to buy an old Morris Minor or Ford Anglia instead of something modern (albeit small by modern standards), but she won’t!

  8. I park anywhere I can and have to as long as its safe to do so and legal, as for not upsetting motorists, you have to be kidding, no one has ever done anything less than to help motorists. The high cost of fuel, mostly tax, road tax ever increasing and becoming a way of life for ev drivers, the shocking state of the roads which have declined in the last decade which causes so much expensive damage to vehicles, high tolls on some motorways, the Severn and dartford crossing, to name just some. Many have to drive for numerous reasons, so if as some would like the drivers which can, abandon there vehiclesbin favour of public transport, the public transport system wouldn’t cope, it’s too unreliable for one with many buses not arriving, too many rail services are unreliable due to various reasons of liw levels of maintenance causing shut downs and a replacement bus service having to be put in place. The fact of the matter is your beloved Tories have been in charge for 14 years, so most issues after so long in power are there issues or issues they have failed to resolve. What have they been doing, so sorry if it offends,but I do not believe they are capable of delivering on any promises they make towards this election they know most of the people are aware of this, so there tactic is to bad mouth every other group. Makes me wonder if some of them are on here with they way people go round in circles with no resolution then get angry when people don’t agree with them and become nasty.

    • Careful Steve Ms Pink is just warming up in rediness to slam anything other than his decrepit blue rinse brigade. He’s our local dinosaur and rather like the conservatives will be shown for what they stand for.,, absolutely nothing that will help the poor.

    • Why not set an example and walk or use public transport more? My other half drives, but our car is very rarely used. For example, when visiting Herne Bay yesterday, we went by train and returned by bus. Far better than sitting in traffic jams complaining whilst being part of the problem!

      • I don’t complain about traffic jams, I complain about the stupidly I’ll thought out roadworks which are taking place in close proximity and take considerably longer to conduct than they would abroad. I also cannot rely on Public transport or did my last comment on this suit your narrative, I on an average day have to travel to perhaps for example, London, Tandridge, and two places in Kent prior heading back to thanet however I leave pre 5.00am most of the time to achieve this and try to avoid as much of the early traffic as I can.

        • All the more reason use need to walk more on your days off… and your job can’t be that hard, judging by the amount of time you’re on here (wish I could’ve spent time on the internet when I was young and still working full time!).

      • “Far better than sitting in traffic jams complaining whilst being part of the problem!”

        Except you’re still part of said traffic. lolz

    • the Severn crossing was free last time I went over it. Road tax doesn’t exist (since the 1930s at least), so it can’t be ever increasing. As others have said get the uninsured, no MOT and untaxed off the road and see how much more space we have.

  9. they seem to be nicking a few , but just going to the shops and back i sometimes see up to 10 violations , and has anyone ever tried to phone the tdc parking office ? its a waste of time , and they try to get you to report it online , thats a laugh the culprit has probably driven off by then !

  10. Better to taiser kent highways, they wouldn’t feel a lot anyway, brain dead you see. Like our current batch of politicians

  11. They should go to the st Laurence tavern pub in ramsgate they park on the pavements obstructing vehicles view from coming out of Ashburnham Road they park on the double yellow lines and the culprits are all in the pub drinking!!!

  12. Dear Kathy
    Hope and trust all well in your corner
    I may have a story on homelessness if you are interested.
    Put all red lines on roads
    Fine anyone for parking on a road cause actually none of you pay for it. Unless permits or parking meters or car parks

    • Jeez Paul, I wonder if those with blue badgesmight be disabled, thus less physically capable than yourself, so NEED to be closer to businesses and public services?

    • They’re not. The new electric car bays are the other side of the car park towards the casino. They moved months ago.

    • Disabled bays at Sainsburys are just as close but undercover.
      So because some disabled people have more money than you the car parks should charge them? What is your point in this rant against disabled people?

  13. What is so shameful is that TDC refuse to adopt very simple measures. I’ve written to TDC’s CEO and Cllr’s suggesting a number of practices including an enforcement team comprising them and Kent Police who could visit key areas once a month. This wouldn’t stretch resources and would be a start especially if they publicised it and set out how people can report offending vehicles to populate their existing data base.
    This would allow enforcement to identify problem areas as well as repeat offenders, a police letter to the vehicle owner could then be sent and maybe a “name and shame” poster.
    Also, it’s probable that TDC and the Police are breaching their duties under the Equalities Act as many parking infringements impact, disproportionately, on groups of people with “protected characteristics”.

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