Sparks Project

Plenary on 2006-12-06
Session date: 
December 6, 2006
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)


In your view has the Sparks Project been a success to date?


Answer for Sparks Project

Answer for Sparks Project

Answered By: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

The Shared Parking and Keeper Information Project (SPARKS) is an awareness raising and influencing programme funded by the Enforcement Task Force (which is chaired by TfL) addressing complex issues of law and practice relating to civil traffic enforcement across European national borders

SPARKS has been successful in:

- Quantifying the cost to London of the failure to enforce Penalty Charge Notices. SPARKS estimates that, excluding the congestion charge, there are more than 300,000 un-enforced contraventions of civil traffic laws by foreign registered vehicles each year, leading to non-payment of penalties to London authorities of £1million a month and an economic cost of a further £1m a month. - Identifying the legal obstacles which prevent civil traffic enforcement being effective against foreign registered vehicles - Providing a focus for London's public authorities to lobby central government to take steps to resolve the issues. - Working with DfT to prioritise the issue, for example by providing evidence for the House of Commons Transport Committee. - Building partnerships with municipal authorities in Belgium and the Netherlands. - Raising the issue of civil enforcement with the Directorate General for Transport in the European Commission.

In addition, the SPARKS programme has obtained funding of '100k from the European Commission to support a pan-European legal study (the Eurosparks project) into new remedies to address the issue of cross-border enforcement. TfL is leading this activity, which will benefit from the efforts of 13 partners in 8 countries over the coming 12 months.