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North Somerset traffic wardens dish out 700 parking tickets in first week

PUBLISHED: 09:35 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:42 21 April 2017

North Somerset Council's staff have taken over civil parking enforcement from the police. Picture: Getty Images

North Somerset Council's staff have taken over civil parking enforcement from the police. Picture: Getty Images

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It has been 20 years since parking wardens have patrolled North Somerset’s streets, but in the first week of their return they dished out 700 tickets.

A little more than £49,000 worth of fines have been issued to drivers across the district who were caught parked wrongly on double and single-yellow lines, in bus stops, in disabled bays or taxi ranks last week.

Parking enforcement was previously a criminal matter, but with Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s resources stretched to the limit there had been no active patrols in North Somerset for about 20 years.

But, on April 3, North Somerset Council took on responsibility for monitoring on-street parking – alongside the monitoring of its 66 car parks – and it has since dished out 709 fines for on-street parking offences.

Much of the civil parking enforcement (CPE) scheme’s focus is on the district’s four towns – Weston, Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead – as they have the most parking restrictions to enforce.

But, any complaints the council receives about problem areas will be passed on to its team of 11 parking wardens for patrols to take place.

The scheme will cost the council £492,140 each year to run, but its cost will be covered by the fines it gives out.

Any additional money raised through the scheme will be ring-fenced to spend on improvements to highways, such as resurfacing poor roads, and transport in North Somerset.

The council’s executive member for highways councillor Elfan Ap Rees said people had already started to change their bad parking habits.

He said: “We had quite a lot of blatant cases where people were parking badly – but hopefully that is going to stop now.

“People are realising that they simply can’t do it and we are already seeing people beginning to take notice, and use the car parks rather than parking on double-yellow lines.”

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