Move to out­law self­ish park­ing

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Ju­dith Ton­ner

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.” ”

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