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Parking strategy progresses

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Front
Parking strategy progresses

PLANS for a crackdown on illegal parking in Dumfries and Galloway have moved up gear as the council is now seeking full parking enforcement powers from the government.

Having already gone through a public consultation process on a new parking strategy, and councillors agreeing to full decriminalised parking enforcement (DPE) in the region, a formal application process for enforcement powers is now underway with Transport Scotland.

However, this can be quite lengthy and take roughly a year to be approved.

In the meantime, Dumfries and Galloway Council intends on getting a parking manager in place to oversee the new rules when they come into place and to lead a team of wardens.

When the powers are set, motorists caught parking illegally could face being fined £100.

A report providing an update on the parking strategy will be tabled at the council’s communities committee next week.

It reads: “A formal DPE application is currently being progressed and will be made to Scottish Ministers.

“The process can take approximately 12 months, although Transport Scotland note this varies nationwide and there may be an opportunity to reduce timescales.

“Firstly, the council prepares, consults on and submits a draft application to Transport Scotland.

“Transport Scotland will respond with any initial comments and prepare the necessary Scottish Statutory Instruments (SSIs).

“The council will then submit a final application to Transport Scotland who will review the application and, subject to ministerial approval, consult on the draft SSIs.

“These will be finalised following consultation and, subject to ministerial approval, will be laid before Scottish Parliament. If no objections are raised, the SSIs commence and DPE powers are obtained.”

Due to the scale of the task in implementing the parking strategy for such a large region, including parking controls and enforcement rules, it is considered an “immediate priority” to recruit a parking manager/team leader to oversee the delivery of parking services.

Having that person in place is essential to enable commencement of the formal application and to establish a parking enforcement regime that ties in with the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 legislation.

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