Traffic wardens could return under fresh enforcement

Traffic wardens were scrapped by Aberdeenshire Council several years ago
Traffic wardens were scrapped by Aberdeenshire Council several years ago

For many they were the dreaded yellow peril – for others they ensured town centre parking was properly managed for the benefit of all.

But love them or loathe them, Aberdeenshire Council could be on the brink of re-introducing traffic wardens to the region’s streets.

With significant changes coming to its off-street car-parks in September, the local authority will decide next week whether the matter should be brought back to the table.

Back in January last year the council conducted a feasibility study into the introduction of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement, but its Infrastructure Services Committee agreed not to progress at that time.

Currently, the enforcement of on-street parking across Aberdeenshire remains the responsibility of Police Scotland after the council scrapped its team of traffic wardens.

However, pressure on staffing resources makes it increasingly difficult for police officers to patrol the volume of streets across the Shire.

Decriminalised Parking Enforcement would enable the council to enforce on-street parking, but would require a firm guarantee to Transport Scotland that it will not create a financial burden for the local authority or require it to meet any shortfall.

The Scottish Parliament is currently considering the Transport (Scotland) Bill which could dictate that councils begin enforcing pavement parking and double parking offences.

In a report going before committee on Thursday, ISC director Stephen Archer states: “The council has developed proposed changes to how off-street car parking is managed in Aberdeenshire.

“Feedback from the consultation carried out as part of these proposed changes highlighted that there is a desire from many customers and business associations that Aberdeenshire Council should carry out on-street parking enforcement as that would improve the management of town centre parking and aid the vitality of town centres.”

In Peterhead, the news that traffic wardens could make a return was met with delight by local business and members of the public.

Local resident Anne Taylor said she hoped it would solve the ongoing issue of vehicles driving though Marischal Street.

One Queen Street shop owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: “It’s high time that we got wardens back to patrol the parking on our street.

“Business owners themselves are the main problem - flouting the rules all-day long and taking up spaces which customers could be using.”