Police informed after parking wardens ‘harassed and intimidated’

Weston seafront parking charges have been under the microscope on social media.

Weston seafront parking charges have been under the microscope on social media. - Credit: Submitted

Recent incidents of harassment and intimidation towards parking wardens have been reported to police, according to North Somerset Council.

The authority says it will continue to alert the police when reports of criminal behaviour are received.

A council spokesman said: "We'd like to make people aware that a number of our seafront car parking staff have been systematically harassed, intimidated and filmed in recent days.

"We will not tolerate aggression, intimidation or harassment of any of our employees."

North Somerset Council took over the patrolling of illegal parking, from Avon and Somerset Constabulary, in April 2017.

Enforcing penalties from on-street parking misdemeanours has been the council's responsibility ever since they were introduced in Weston in 2012.

On social media there was speculation about the council's right to charge drivers to park their cars on Weston seafront and the promenade.

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But the council says it is entitled to make motorists pay and enforce fines, despite Marine Parade and the beach not being adopted highways.

The council spokesman said income from seafront car parking is used to fund beach cleaning and tourism, through events such as the air festival which brought thousands of people to Weston last month.

They added: "We'd like to think that most people would agree doing all those things makes the beach and seafront a beautiful and well-kept environment for everyone to enjoy.

"We are committed to conducting a car parking review to ensure a fair and affordable parking policy for North Somerset.

"There will be opportunity for residents to inform the review as it develops and we will promote this soon."

The council said it was responding to the social media rumours in 'the spirit of the new administration's commitment to openness and transparency'.