SUNDERLAND City Council is stepping up its evening and weekend enforcement of parking regulations.

The extension of enforcement hours is set to begin on Thursday 1 December.

It follows further reviews of the service and feedback received by the council.

The extension will give the option of extra enforcement patrols up until 10pm.

Councillor Michael Mordey, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for City Services, said: “The council has been looking at parking enforcement and the service it provides.

“Plus, the council has received feedback from businesses across the city, including in the city centre and along the seafront; feedback from transport companies, residents, and other organisations about parking regulations.

“While the council regularly reviews and monitors all its services, the council has had questions about ‘whether there could be more enforcement?’

“The council has considered those points and the introduction of evening enforcement will address the concerns that have been raised.

“We all know the flouting of parking regulations is not confined to the city centre or the seafront in daylight hours.

“These extra enforcement hours can help address the concerns, introduce more consistency, and help businesses, householders, public transport operators and users, pedestrians, cyclists, and, of course, the emergency services.

“The council already enforces restrictions when there are major events on, such as SAFC home games.

“If you are a driver and road user that parks legally and does not flout any regulations then there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.

“Parking is regulated to help improve road safety, reduce congestion in the interests of all highways users, and support economic activity and viability from the city centre to all local shopping areas.

“So, with extended hours we’re going to see more consistency for everyone.”

In Sunderland city centre, there are more than 1,500 parking spaces, and parking is free after 6pm at the majority of surface car parks.