Volunteers could target illegal parking


- Credit: Archant

MOTORISTS who are parking illegally in Portishead could find themselves reported to the police by volunteer watchdogs.

Following a lengthy campaign to tackle inconsiderate and dangerous parking in the town, residents are considering forming an action group to take on the issue and report back to the police.

Illegal parking, especially in the High Street, has been a bone of contention since traffic wardens were abolished in North Somerset around eight years ago.

Not only does irresponsible parking pose a danger, but it often has a knock-on effect causing traffic jams in nearby streets. At peak times this can bring the town centre to a standstill.

Although members of the Portishead beat team regularly police the problem areas, they say they do not have the resources to commit officers or PCSOs to permanent regular parking duties.

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Several councillors are now looking at proposals to set up a volunteer parking watch group.

Councillor David Pasley said: “Parking problems are an ongoing issue in Portishead, especially in the High Street where motorists continually flout the law.

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“Just as Speedwatch groups have been set up to monitor speeding problems in communities and report offenders to the police, we are looking at setting up a parking watch group to do the same.”

Cllr Pasley says he has already discussed it with other councillors who support the idea and is hoping to take the matter to the February town council meeting to be discussed.

Many residents have welcomed the proposal. Among them are Roath Road resident Ron Hazelton, who has repeatedly called for the reinstatement of traffic wardens, says he would support any measures to improve parking in the town centre and Annette Hennessy, who conducted her own survey on illegal parking in Portishead High Street.

She said: “A group of volunteers working directly with the police to help deal with parking issues could be very helpful but I feel it is important that we keep politics out of it.”

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