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Fines spark street parking outcry

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Fines spark street parking outcry

A CALL for a better approach to problem parking in Dumfries has been issued — sparked by £70 fines in council car parks.

But while Dumfries and Galloway Council confirm fines are still being imposed for overstaying in their car parks, they note that it is the police who enforce on-street parking violations.

Julie Hollis, of Cloud 9 art gallery in Irish Street, said: “This was the second person I’ve heard has been fined in a car park; the first one was in Charlotte Street, but this one happened last Wednesday in Loreburn Street car park.

“They’ve put a parking disk up, but they’d mistakenly put the wrong time up after getting confused between 14.30 and 4.30 pm, and they were fined £70 for overstaying.”

Julie added: “It just annoys me, the fact that there are so many people that are parking illegally in the town — the High Street, which is pedestrianised, and the Vennel is just a run-through.

“And when these things are happening and people are being fined for finding legitimate parking places, I just think it’s crazy.

“It’s gone to pot.”

Julie was among the retailers who joined Cycling Dumfries and Incredible Edibles Dumfries for a ‘pop-up park’ on September 15 — reclaiming the corner of Friar’s Vennel and Irish Street from ‘anti-social parking’.

Noting that Friars Vennel is pedestrianised, Julie says she has seen children run across the road unable to see traffic due to parked vehicles and describes it as ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

Responding, the council say their community safety team carry out regular patrols of ‘disc zone’ car parks in Dumfries and Stranraer.

A spokesman said: “Last month alone we issued over 50 parking fines to drivers who had exceeded their stay in our short-stay car parks.”

Police Scotland stopped funding traffic wardens in 2013 and called for parking enforcement to be decriminalised — and the council to take on responsibility.

A spokesman says officers do impose penalties when they come across cars posing a danger or obstruction, but do not take on the role of enforcing on-street waiting restrictions.

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