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Wardens on the way back

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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Wardens on the way back

TRAFFIC wardens are on their way back to the streets of Dumfries and Galloway.

The wheels are in motion for parking enforcement measures being introduced in Dumfries and Galloway after councillors agreed on moving towards implementation.

Elected members have shared their support for full decriminalised parking enforcement locally, which could see drivers caught parking illegally being fined £100, and a team of dedicated wardens patrolling to enforce the rules.

It is still only midway through the parking strategy process and the next step is to apply to Transport Scotland for approval. Thereafter draft plans will have to be firmed up in a finalised regional parking strategy document to be signed off by the council.

However, at Tuesday’s communities committee, councillors were adamant that action must be taken to address the widespread problem of illegal parking.

Chairman Councillor Ian Blake tabled a motion calling for full measures to be introduced, which was backed by his Conservative colleague Councillor David Inglis.

Mr Blake said: “This has been long overdue. We have a real parking issue in Dumfries and Galloway, as many areas do.

“I feel that decriminalised parking enforcement (DPE) is the only way forward.”

Having already taken the option of parking fees off the table in the wake of strong public opposition, elected

members still need to find a suitable solution to illegal parking.

Twenty-two out of 32 councils in Scotland use DPE powers to ensure safety and minimise illegal parking.

Modelling what other councils are doing, this could result in drivers caught parking illegally here being fined £100, or a reduced fee of £50 if paid within seven days.

The final details are still to be ironed out further down the line, but full DPE would likely result in six dedicated wardens patrolling the streets. A report tabled at this week’s committee suggested two in Dumfries, one in Stranraer, one for central zone, one for eastern zone, and one free-floating.

The costs of operating the system would be funded through penalty charge notices.

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