Traffic wardens return to Lochaber
TRAFFIC wardens will return to Lochaber in October.
As part of a £ 550,000 project, the Highland Council is taking back control of parking from the police and creating an enforcement team made up of a parking supervisor, 10 parking officers and two parking attendants.
A Highland Council spokseperson said: ‘The Scottish Government needs to pass legislation on this. The process will take until October and then the council will begin to enforce all parking.’
The issue was discussed by members of the Highland Council community services committee earlier this year. At that time, the estimated budget was increased from a 2014 total of £450,000 to cover higher than anticipated costs for implementing the scheme which includes the painting and checking of double yellow lines and signs.
The committee says a major risk to the project is the parliamentary legal timetable but benefits include a co- ordinated parking enforcement service covering on- and off-street parking across the Highlands. It will also free up police officers’ time.
Brian Murphy, councillor for Fort William and Ardnamurchan, is in favour of the changes and described the situation up until now as a ‘free for all’.
He said: ‘This all goes back to when Police Scotland was created and took the decision to get rid of parking enforcement.
‘Traffic wardens were paid by Police Scotland and that enforcement ceased in town which has resulted in an increase in infringements in parking in the town. In particular, I think there are problems for those with disabilities because people know that they can park in disabled spaces and on corners and nothing will happen. It has led to all sorts of stupidity really.’
With regards to the cost of the scheme, Mr Murphy said: ‘The project will be self-financing to a certain extent as the council will be able to hold on to any penalties. I believe when it was operated by the police the money went to the Treasury.’
He added: ‘I am confident the scheme will improve parking in the area.’