Critics question council parking strategy

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 September 2015

North Somerset Council will soon be responsible for enforcing parking restrictions, such as double yellow lines.

North Somerset Council will soon be responsible for enforcing parking restrictions, such as double yellow lines.

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GIVING council staff powers to dish out parking tickets has been labelled 'farcical' as wardens will be unable to ticket all dangerously-parked cars.

Earlier this month, North Somerset Council voted to take on the responsibility of on-street parking from the police.

But councillors are concerned the new Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) will have little impact.

Under the new system, if there are no yellow lines but the vehicle is still causing an obstruction, or if someone is parking in an unsafe or dangerous way, it will remain a police matter. Council wardens will also be unable to ticket or remove abandoned vehicles.

At the council’s strategic planning and economic development meeting on Monday, Cllr Donald Davies suggested the scheme will only help Weston town centre.

He said: “If someone is parked in Weston on a corner which has double yellow lines we do something about it, but if they go outside of Weston and park on a corner which doesn’t have yellow lines, we can’t.

“Unless we have double yellow lines on every single bit of road, there’s nothing CPE can do about it.”

Until now, enforcing double yellow lines, disabled bay parking and bus lane use was handled by police.

Cllr Chris Blades said: “I don’t disagree with you, every town has its issues, but we should just get CPE up and running first.

“It is unfortunate that the law is in such a way that if a car is parked dangerously there’s nothing we can do about it under CPE.”

Council transport officer Colin Medus defended the scheme, and said: “CPE will go a long way to deal with more than we are able to at the moment, but we will still get people behaving stupidly and there are going to be difficulties.

“Discussions with police have indicated they have such a volume that they end up doing none of them. Hopefully this will give them the ability to be a bit more targeted.”

But Cllr Peter Burden said: “Basic parking law isn’t covered by this, it’s farcical. It’s just beggars belief that people out there enforcing the traffic can’t go and do anything about the most obvious parking faults.”

The council will apply to the Department of Transport in April 2016, and could introduce CPE by October 2016.

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