Parking enforcement set to return to Angus streets

Parking enforcement could return to our streets
Parking enforcement could return to our streets

Parking is often an issue in Angus town centres and enforcement is set to return to our streets in a move to stop people parking illegally.

Angus Council’s Policy and Resources Committee is set to discuss a paper addressing the Angus wide issue of town centre parking today (Tuesday, December 1).

The council set up a member/officer working group to consider the issue and come up with recommendations which are contained in the paper.

Parking has been a concern since Police Scotland removed traffic wardens who enforced parking regulations.

Councillor Bill Duff said: “This change meant that both parking on yellow lines and overstaying at timed parking in town centres was not enforced and inconsiderate motorists have taken advantage of the situation ever since, leading to congestion and a lack of turnover of parking spaces.”

What is being proposed is increasing the number of community wardens by two and training and authorising all of them to enforce parking regulations.

This will start once the Scottish Government approve Angus Council’s application to decriminalise parking enforcement, allowing the authority to enforce regulations and collect fines.

Drivers would be fined £60 if caught parking on double yellow lines, which would be reduced to £30 if the fine is paid promptly.

It is estimated that introducing the enforcement will cost the council between £53,000 and £56,000 every year and set up costs are projected at £198,000.

More than 200 businesses and community council members across Angus responded to a council survey, with 84 per cent of respondents believing inappropriate parking has got worse since the withdrawal of traffic wardens, and 73 per cent of survey responders supporting the council providing on street parking control,

One retailer estimated that they had experienced a 12 per cent downturn in business due to parking issues.

Mr Duff added: “Everyone knows that something needs to be done. If the committee approves the proposals, we will see council wardens who already do an excellent job in other areas taking responsibility for parking enforcement. This will provide quite a bit of flexibility as demand varies. Fines will be collected by the council which will go some way to compensate for the costs involved. Keeping traffic flowing and ensuring a turnover of parked cars is important to ensure the economic viability of our town centres.

“Charging for parking will very much be a last resort and I believe that this will prove to be unnecessary. All going well, we should see the new regime coming into practice towards the end of 2016.”