Call for police to put brakes on town parking chaos

PUBLISHED: 06:42 06 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:34 24 May 2010

LEADING councillors have called for pressure to be put on the police to crack down on motorists who are causing a parking 'free for all' in Weston. A council watchdog made the call after highlighting the problem of parking chaos throughout the town centre

LEADING councillors have called for pressure to be put on the police to crack down on motorists who are causing a parking 'free for all' in Weston.A council watchdog made the call after highlighting the problem of parking chaos throughout the town centre.The strategic planning and economic scrutiny panel (SPED) chairman Cllr Elfan Ap Rees said traders in busy roads like Meadow Street were calling for the parking mess to be tackled.Panel members have also handed council officers a hit-list of locations where they believe pointless double yellow lines should be scrapped.Executive member for transport and planning Cllr John Crockford-Hawley agreed to write to top cop Supt Tracy Hayler urging her to put more police officers on the case to clampdown on illegal parkers.The promise came after it was revealed that plans for North Somerset Council to take over responsibility for parking control from the police have been delayed until sometime in 2008.The council's £360,000 scheme to put pay and display metres throughout the town centre along with parking permits for residents was due to come into force late next year. But the initiative has fallen behind schedule because the council has yet to find a new parking manager to pull the project together.Police community support officers (PCSOs) were assigned to slap tickets on illegally parked vehicles after traffic wardens were abolished. But Cllr Crockford-Hawley said he will call for the police to devote more hours to the task as many motorists clog town centre streets by parking on double yellow lines or stay all day in one-hour parking bays.Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: "We do have an increasing problem in Weston where it has become obvious there is minimal supervision of parking supervision since the abolition of traffic wardens."We are certainly seeing a free for all. People know they can park on double yellow lines with not as much risk as before."I appreciate the operational constraints the police have but will be asking Supt Hayler to cast an eye on the problem."Chief Inspector Nick Walker said: "During the past two years, a total of 5352 parking tickets were issued in Weston. Of these, 1480 related to no waiting and one hour waiting offences. These would normally be offences dealt with by traffic wardens as opposed to the police."A large number of vehicles currently parked on double yellow lines carry disabled badges and therefore owners cannot be ticketed."We will continue to work with the council as they go through the process of decriminalisation which takes the enforcement of restrictions away from the police.

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