Parking regulations and enforcement

On the 6 April 2020, civil parking enforcement (CPE), issued under regulations within the Traffic Management Act 2004, gave West Suffolk Council the power to enforce all parking restrictions within the district. These powers were issued under regulations within the Road Traffic Act 1991.

These parking regulations (for example yellow lines and parking bays) exist to control where vehicles are permitted to park. They are an effective means to help address the safety of road users and to tackle congestion. In some locations, such as near town centres, the demand to park exceeds the space available. Parking restrictions can also allocate parts of the road for different types of parking, for example limited waiting bays for shoppers, resident parking bays and disabled parking bays.

All drivers should be familiar with The Highway Code. Another useful publication produced by the Department for Transport is Know your traffic signs


The main purpose of on street parking enforcement is to maintain road user safety and prevent congestion, by tackling drivers who park on yellow lines and in other restricted areas. It also helps to balance parking demand, by making sure that drivers remove their vehicles from parking bays within the permitted time.

West Suffolk Council is responsible for enforcement in our own area and parts of Babergh and Mid Suffolk. The enforcement areas can be seen on Suffolk County Council's parking enforcement map

West Suffolk Council employs civil enforcement officers (CEOs) who patrol streets where parking regulations apply, as well as the public off street car parks. They check whether cars are parked appropriately and issue penalty charge notices (PCNs) to vehicles parked illegally. However, civil enforcement officers do not just issue PCNs, they are also customer focused and can give directions and advice on where to park.

You can make us aware of any illegal parking by completing the Report a parking infringement form. Please consult the Parking and no waiting restrictions page before completing the form. We will endeavour to deal with the issue subject to having accurate information and resources in your area.

Penalty charge notice

If you are paying a penalty charge notice (PCN) or have any questions about a PCN that you have received visit our Parking fines and appeals page.

Suffolk Police responsibilities

Suffolk Police retains responsibility for dangerous or obstructive parking where there are no parking restrictions.

Suffolk Police focuses its resources based on an assessment of threat, harm and risk. For this reason, dealing with parking offences is a lower priority and complaints of illegal parking will not automatically result in police attending them. However, they would allocate a unit in a situation where there is a clear offence that poses a risk to public safety. Where there is a particular issue with a particular location which is causing community concern, the Safer Neighbourhoods team will deal with it appropriately.

How would you rate our website?