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Town parking needs to be better policed, says MSP

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Town parking needs to be better policed, says MSP

A RETHINK is being urged over parking enforcement in Dumfries — with claims the current system 'is not working'.

Finlay Carson MSP is urging Dumfries and Galloway Council to take on responsibility for enforcing on street waiting restrictions, after it was decriminalised in 2013.

The Galloway and West Dumfries MSP said: “It has become clear that the current system is not working.
“I am becoming increasingly concerned about road and pedestrian safety following the increased numbers of vehicles parking in restricted areas and on double yellow lines across the region.”

Having met with council leader Elaine Murray and Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie from Police Scotland, he added: “In light of the serious safety consequences that this type of parking could cause, I have written to the leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, asking for an urgent report to be brought before the relevant committee to revisit the 2013 decision to remove traffic wardens from the streets.”

Councillor Murray notes it was a decision by Police Scotland to decriminalise parking enforcement.
She said: “The police decided that they weren’t going to do traffic wardens anymore; it was one of their savings.”

Noting that Dumfries and Galloway Council so far has not decided to take on traffic wardens, she added: “I think there is an issue to look at, because the community safety officers enforce car parking in the car parks, so you will get done for overstaying in the council car parks, but they don’t do it on the roads because it used to be police who did that.

“They will now only enforce the restrictions if someone’s parked dangerously.”

Councillor Murray says Dumfries Retailers Association have approached the council to look at enforcement options, and that this will be considered.

Mr Carson has meanwhile welcomed a commitment from Chief Superintendent Ritchie to focus some patrols on areas where parking violations have become commonplace.

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By Fiona Reid | DNG24