Extra council staff to issue parking tickets

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Extra parking wardens could hit the streets as South Ayrshire gives additional council workers the power to issue fines.

The move, which was approved in the budget, would see the likes of community safety officers slapping tickets on cars.

South Ayrshire Council estimate that by bolstering the ranks of parking wardens with other staff, parking fines will bring in another £15,000 from April.

Councillor Hugh Hunter said: “It is an outright attack on the South Ayrshire public. We don’t know yet for certain what other staff they are talking about. They may be seen as undercover wardens if they are not wearing uniforms.

“It will bring a breakdown of trust between the public and traffic wardens.”

However, a council spokesperson said: “Any enforcement officers issuing penalty charge notices will be identifiable as such, so the suggestion that this will be ‘undercover’ or done by stealth is not correct.”

And when another council planned to extend the role of parking wardens to deal with litter, dog fouling etc, Transport Scotland said: “An individual who is undertaking duties as a parking attendant should be identifiable through the uniforms approved by Scottish Ministers when carrying out parking enforcement.”

The new money-making scheme was revealed in a single line in the budget presented before councillors and it said: “Increase income from penalty charge notices by extending number of staff to issue tickets eg community safety officers.”

Councillor Hunter added: “Although it has never been a happy relationship between parking wardens and the public there has always been a measure of trust. The wardens are not unsympathetic if there are circumstances when they can be flexible.”

Parking attendants issue £60 fines, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days, and their hours were extended to cover evenings last year to crackdown on motorists parking on double yellow lines, at junctions or on bus stops.

Wardens launched a ticket blitz during a national bowling championship in Ayr in July last year and slapped nearly 50 tickets on motorists who breached parking conditions in the Northfield Avenue area during the 2018 Bowls Scotland National Championships. At £30 per ticket, it would  have cost drivers about £1,440 in fines collectively.