Tough ap­proach to illegal park­ing is ‘suc­cess story’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Transport Update - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

Clamps have been used on nui­sance lorry driv­ers in re­cent weeks as part of Ash­ford Bor- ough Coun­cil’s tough ap­proach to illegal park­ing.

Since the lorry clamp­ing pi­lot launched in April this year, sev­eral driv­ers have been clamped and forced to pay out­stand­ing fines be­fore be­ing re­leased.

In ad­di­tion, of­fi­cers at Tues- day’s Joint Trans­porta­tion Board meet­ing said that the over­all im­pact of the scheme has been a suc­cess so far, with the num­ber of ve­hi­cles park­ing on the Sev­ing­ton, Or­bital Park and Hen­wood es­tates sig­nif­i­cantly drop­ping over the past five months.

Be­fore the trial started, more than 100 HGVs were counted across the three es­tates, how­ever this has now been re­duced to five by last month.

Jo Fox, Ash­ford coun­cil’s health, park­ing and com­mu­nity safety man­ager, said that lorry hotspots were still be­ing checked each night be­tween mid­night and 2am and that over­all the im­pact has been pos­i­tive, and called Hen­wood a “suc­cess story”.

In ad­di­tion, she said the coun­cil is now col­lect­ing 27% of fines from driv­ers be­fore they are

Cllr Bernard Heyes passed to col­lec­tion agen­cies. This is com­pared to the 17% they were col­lect­ing af­ter they had gone to col­lect­ing agen­cies pre-pi­lot.

Of the scheme, JTB mem­ber Cllr Bernard Heyes (Con. Godin- ton) said: “We have been pa­tient un­til now. But any­one who gets clamped now, de­serves it.”

Ms Fox ac­knowl­edged there were some is­sues with dis­place­ment, in­clud­ing in Hoth­field, where noise from the trucks dis­turbs res­i­dents, and on the Cobbs Wood Es­tate.

She added: “One area that was al­ways a prob­lem is the Elling­ham In­dus­trial Es­tate, and we will keep an eye on it.”

A re­port of the scheme added how­ever: “It has been es­tab­lished that the num­ber of HGVs regularly re­ported as be­ing parked overnight, in some ar­eas, dif­fer vastly from our ob­ser­va­tions.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

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