Tow away zones

New powers to make sure we have clear roads to re-surface

Re-surfacing a road is vital to improve the road and to prevent potholes forming for years to come. To be able to carry out this surfacing work we need the road clear, with no parked cars.

Expensive and damaging obstruction

In the days leading up to surfacing work we put signs up on site and deliver leaflets to local houses and flats asking people to park elsewhere, we also make this information available on our website at and the whole programme at

Almost always everyone is happy to oblige as they want a better road and for the work to be done without having to pay extra for it. Just occasionally one or two cars are left parked, perhaps because the owner/driver is away or forgot, or in rare cases just doesn’t see the need. Until now we have had to work around the cars and had to go back to finish the road, sometimes several times. As well as being expensive (several thousand pounds per site), having to join patches together creates seams which can reduce the life of the new surface and cause potholes to start more quickly. Having to come back also causes more disruption for local residents and drivers in the area.

Every effort to find the driver

As before, crews will make every effort to find the driver or owner of any car parked by knocking on doors or using any leads such as phone numbers from family or neighbours. If we can’t contact the driver, we now have power to remove the vehicle. 

New powers to enable vehicle removal

Under the Traffic Management Act 2004 the road will be declared a Clearway for the period. In accordance with The Removal and Disposal of Vehicle Regulations 1986, regulation 5C(2) (inserted by S.I.2007/3484), our approved contractor can now, at the request of the crew supervisor, issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to the registered keeper of the vehicle and remove the vehicle to a safe place.

Vehicles safely moved

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed by our qualified and experienced contractor to a safe parking place as near to the original location as possible, so that when the driver looks for their car they will be able to see it. Our contractor removing the vehicle is experienced in doing this work and they will take several photos of the vehicle before and after moving it to demonstrate that the vehicle has not been damage

Find your car

In any case vehicle owners can contact the Essex County Council Contact Centre on 0345 603 7631 or Essex Police on 101 who will have details of the whereabouts of the car.

Parking ticket

The PCN or parking ticket will be issued by either the North Essex Parking Partnership or the South Essex Parking Partnership and details of how to pay are online and on the back of the ticket.

This is not a money-making exercise, as we hope we will never have to issue a ticket. It is rather a way of saving thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money by ensuring we can surface your road in one go to meet our programme of improvements.