Brighton and Hove's controversial Parking blitz has been given a national award.

NCP, which took over control of on-street parking on behalf of the city council last summer, picked up the gong at the British Parking Awards ceremony - the traffic wardens' equivalent of the Brits.

The city's scheme was judged more successful than similar clampdowns in Kensington, Camden and Westminster.

The handover of responsibility for enforcing the city's regulations from the police to a private company in July led to an overnight surge in the number of tickets issued.

In the first few weeks wardens were accused of being over-zealous as they doled out the equivalent of two tickets a minute.

Motorists mounted a fierce backlash.

Meters were smashed and attendants assaulted as the new regulations began to bite.

One campaign group threatened to post photos of all the wardens on the internet, calling for them to be shunned by people in their community.

Parking attendants were issued with "danger diaries" to keep a log of threats and attacks.

But people living in the city gradually came to terms with the tough new stance which proved a short, sharp shock to those flouting the yellow lines.

Steve Percy, who set up The People's Parking Protest in response to the new regulations, was surprised at the recognition given to the scheme.

He said: "I'm very pleased for NCP but there still a lot of problems here. All I can think is that the schemes elsewhere must be even worse.

"I've heard dozens of stories from people who are all saying the same thing, the regulation is too harsh and there is not enough flexibility."

A council spokeswoman said: "We're very pleased with the way it's going. It's not perfect but the six-month review is coming up very shortly."