Council's parking warden plans on hold after Government delay

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:09 03 October 2016

North Somerset Council's plan to take over civil parking enforcement is on hold. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

North Somerset Council's plan to take over civil parking enforcement is on hold. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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North Somerset Council was poised to put parking wardens back on the district's streets, but a Government delay means the parking takeover it had planned is now on hold.

The authority was due to take control of civil parking enforcement (CPE) from October, after asking the Department for Transport for permission to do so in April.

The responsibility previously lay with Avon and Somerset Constabulary, but with police resources stretched to the limit, the council opted to take responsibility for on-street parking enforcement in Weston-super-Mare and across North Somerset.

Once in place it will mean council officers can enforce double-yellow lines and monitor disabled bay and bus lane use. However, police will still enforce zig-zag lines and obstructions.

The Department for Transport asked the council for more information relating to its application, which it provided, but the authority is still awaiting for the final rubber stamp of approval.

The council’s deputy leader and executive member for highways, Elfan Ap Rees, said: “Unfortunately we don’t have an accurate time on when it will be approved, we are waiting for the Department for Transport.

“I think part of the problem is that they are just so understaffed.

“It’s frustrating because obviously we have been gearing up ready to implement it and now we are sort of on hold.”

When in place, council employees who already keep track of the authority’s pay-and-display car parks will take on the role of monitoring on-street parking, alongside a small number of new recruits.

Cllr Ap Rees said: “We are using the extra time to train officers, so we are doing something useful.”

But he added officers are restricted to monitoring car parks and on-street pay and display parking at the moment.

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