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PATROL launches new Driving Improvement Award

New competition recognises effective communication and engagement by local authorities

Mark Moran
10 April 2024


Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) has launched the Driving Improvement Award, a new competition recognising local authority communication activities. The 2024 programme aims to drive positive change in the delivery of enforcement services and public engagement.

The Driving Improvement Awards are an evolution of the Promoting Awareness of Civil Enforcement through Reporting (PACER) Awards. The new approach will shift the focus to celebrate authorities’ customer service, innovation, improvement and engagement more generally.

Communicating to tackle key issues

The Driving Improvement Awards offer authorities the chance to submit a bid for funding to carry out a communication campaign or activity to effect change, both in their local area and replicable nationally. This could include, for example, new public information, social media, marketing, branding or PR.

Bids will be encouraged around a specific theme each year, based on current or pressing events, issues and trends in the parking and traffic enforcement landscape.

In its inaugural guise in 2024, the Driving Improvement Awards is focussed on the issue of abuse experienced by civil enforcement officers and other enforcement staff, which speaks to an intensity of negative public sentiment towards parking and traffic enforcement, generally.

Recent research and media reports highlight the frequency of abuse faced by such staff, with 84% of parking managers reporting their staff experience verbal abuse at least once per month. Even more concerning is the fact that 20% reported physical abuse occurring with the same frequency.

Authorities can access funding

PATROL is offering its local authority members access to funding of up to £25,000 for bids that focus on a proposed communication campaign or activity that delivers on objectives aimed at addressing the current year’s theme.

Bids will be assessed on their scope for implementation locally, but also for how the chosen campaign or activity can be replicated by any England and Wales authority, or taken forward by PATROL to be elevated on a national scale.

Recognition and inspiration

Winning authorities will be recognised at PATROL’s Annual Reception in July, which will be held at a prestigious venue in Westminster – the heart of UK policy making – where MPs and ministers from the government departments with whom PATROL interfaces are likely to be in attendance.

The PATROL team will then support winning authorities to implement their campaign or activity ahead of next year’s event, with the outcomes, learnings and best practice shared with the wider authority cohort.

Laura Padden, director of PATROL, said: “The awards offer a fantastic opportunity for local authority teams to showcase their creativity in and commitment to addressing local challenges, helping to drive change nationally. Participating in the awards will not only highlight an authority’s dedication to improving community engagement, but also position their team as a leader in innovative problem solving.”

PATROL is a joint committee of over 300 local authorities and charging authorities in England (outside London) and Wales that enforce traffic restrictions.

How to enter the Driving Improvement Award

Authorities need to submit bids online by Tuesday 30 April.

PATROL member authorities can submit a bid to enter the Driving Improvement Awards via on online form at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/

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