BRING THEM BACK
Move to outlaw selfish parking
Traffic wardens are set to be back on the streets of Monklands by summer after North Lanarkshire’s new parking plans received Scottish Government approval.
It will see mobile teams patrol town centres to enforce yellow-line restrictions such as prohibited parking and waiting and loading periods, plus cracking down on misuse of disabled bays and overstaying maximum time limits.
Eight staff members are currently being recruited, and the local authority is working to reach agreement with Glasgow city council for the operation of the required supporting functions.
The intention is to “discourage dangerous, inconsiderate parking, enhance the local economy by ensuring a high turnover of parking spaces in town centres” and deter all- day commuter parking.
Councillors from across the chamber showed their support at this week’s infrastructure meeting, with Coatbridge councillor Tom Castles, the Labour depute provost, asking: “How quickly can we get this started? Parking in this council is totally out of control.
“I’ve never seen so much selfish parking in any other area – parking in disabled bays, engines left running – so this has to come in as soon as possible as it’s absolutely necessary and something that’s been missing for a number of years.”
He was told by council officers at the meeting that it will be “as soon as” the trained staff and administrative support are in place, which “should be late spring, early summer”.
SNP group leader David Stocks, the Airdrie Central councillor, said: “I agree 100 per cent – it can’t come quick enough.
“This group is 100 per cent behind decriminalised parking enforcement; but what we’re against is car parking charges.”
Ward colleague Jim Logue, the council leader, said: “We need to make progress on this for all the reasons Tom Castles and David Stocks have highlighted; it’s in all our interests to get DPE to areas that are adversely affected.
“There’s cross-party support; David Stocks and I have talked about this numerous times over the years, and [ Airdrie MSP] Alex Neil has been assiduous in making representations to the cabinet secretary – credit where it’s due.”
Airdrie North representative David Cullen, of the Conservatives, called for a full report on the associated costs and income, saying: “I wholeheartedly agreed it needs to be introduced, but it needs to act as a deterrent, not a money-making scheme.”
Councillors were told that parking enforcement will initially cost £133,000 for equipment, uniforms and computers, but will then be self-financing.
They also agreed a series of updates to traffic regulation orders, including various streets in Airdrie and Coatbridge, to be indicated by yellow lines and road signs and enforced under the scheme.
Enforcement of current restrictions has declined since the police warden service was withdrawn in 2011, with councillors being told: “This has resulted in a rise in indiscriminate parking. rking.
“DPE would improve prove traffic and public transport flow, ow, road safety, use of parking spaces ces for shopping to support the local al economy and environmental benefits from reduced congestion.” on.”
Members were told old that wardens will not be deployed ed to residential areas, despite the council receiving “frequent requests” ” to resolve “lack of parking which forces es residents to park inappropriately or r works/colleges/ shops with insufficient ient parking causing users to park on- n- street causing a nuisance to residents. nts.
“DPE will not be e able to resolve these since lining within n residential areas is rarely appropriate [and] the enforcement resources need to o remain focused on achieving improvement vement to identified town centre issues.” s.”
Infrastructure convener Michael McPake, the Glenboig nboig representative, said: “Across our town centres we have thousands of parking rking spaces but we still regularly see e illegal parking on pavements, in disabled bled bays and people parking all day in short-stay areas.
“As well as being ng a safety hazard, illegal parking blocks locks spaces and prevents drivers s being able to park easily to visit isit local shops and businesses. It’s important to be able to enforce nforce parking restrictions and ensure nsure a turnover of short-stay spaces, es, as feedback from businesses s tells us that better parking rking encourages more people eople into town centres.” ”