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Traffic wardens could make comeback

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Traffic wardens could make comeback

TRAFFIC wardens could make a comeback in the region as councillors drive forward plans for a finalised strategy for the region.

Having already taken parking fees off the table in the wake of strong public opposition, elected members still need to find a suitable solution to the problem of illegal parking.

And this could result in drivers caught parking illegally being fined £100, or a reduced fee of £50 if paid within seven days.

At Dumfries and Galloway Council’s communities committee next Tuesday, councillors will consider whether to embrace Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) like other local authorities, and how to operate it.

Officials have put forward three options:

  •  An enforcement process operated fully in-house by the council, which includes employing parking wardens and upgrading the systems for enforcement in car parks.
  • A hybrid model where the on-the-ground activity, such as employing parking wardens, is undertaken by the council, with back-office elements contracted to another local authority, such as the Ayrshire Roads Alliance and the City of Edinburgh.
  • Outsourcing enforcement to another local authority or a specialist third-party private company.

A report on the matter will be presented at Tuesday’s committee. It reads: “Within each option, due consideration is needed as to the level of staffing required (e.g. number of wardens, hours of employment), and spatial coverage of enforcement. For example, whether staff would be based in specific locations or free-roaming across the region, and timing of enforcement.”

Two scenarios have been put forward: DPE medium or full.

Medium would involve recruiting four dedicated wardens to undertake pavement parking enforcement, partially supported by existing community support officer traffic wardens.

The suggestion is there would be one dedicated warden in both Dumfries and Stranraer, along with free-floating wardens supplemented by the support officers for smaller locations.

Full would have six dedicated wardens (two in Dumfries, one in Stranraer, one for central zone, one for eastern zone, and one free-floating).

If DPE was introduced, the costs of operating it would be funded through penalty charge notices.

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