Town council calls for answers on parking enforcement

An East Riding of Yorkshire Council parking warden.

An East Riding of Yorkshire Council parking warden.

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A PROBING list of questions on parking enforcement in Bridlington has been compiled by the town council who have called on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council for answers.

The list of questions concerning parking charges, the role of civil parking enforcement officers and illegal parking was started by town councillor Liam Dealtry.

Speaking at the latest town council meeting Coun Dealtry said that while the issues regarding parking enforcement had been highlighted in recent articles in the Free Press it was time for the town council to ask their own questions.

“The Free Press have done a fantastic job but these are questions to come from us. These are questions that residents ask us but we can’t give a solid answer to them,” he said.

Last month the Free Press revealed that more than 5,000 parking tickets had been handed out in Bridlington in the first year of the East Riding Council’s civil parking enforcement.

This equated to just over a third of all those penalty charge notices issued across the whole of the East Riding since the Council took over parking enforcement from Humberside Police in November 2011.

While the East Riding Council said they had taken a “fair and balanced” approach to issuing the tickets, some town councillors warned the situation could be deterring visitors and adversely affecting trade.

Now the town council’s questions come at a time when the All-Party Parliamentary Group for town centres have welcomed the launch of a report by industry experts assessing links between car parking fees and the health of the high street.

The report, entitled ‘Re-think! Parking on the High Street’, has urged local authorities and private car park owners to devise parking policies that will make it easier for shoppers to access the High Streets.

It has revealed that some mid-sized and smaller town centres may be overcharging for car parking in relation to their amenities while it has stressed that free parking is no longer realistic in many locations with local authorities finding it difficult to manage conflicting objectives.

Marcus Jones MP, chairman of the Town Centres Parliamentary Group said: “Parking has become a very emotive topic for many people. The high street is fragile and accessibility has become a vital issue.

“Clarity and guidance for councils, private car park owners, consumers and traders is critical if we are to increase the attraction of town centres.”

The questions composed by Bridlington Town Council so far are as follows:

1. Do the Civil parking enforcement officers have a target set that they have to reach either daily, weekly or monthly for the fixed penalty notice issued, if they do what is the target and whom set it and why?

2. Are all car parks in the East Riding of Yorkshire that come under ERYC control the same price and if not could they forward the cost and areas of the car parks and explain why they are cheaper or more expensive.

3. Are there any areas in the East Riding of Yorkshire that come under ERYC control have free car parking either in town or out and if so could they forward where and when and why?

4. Could we please find out how many civil enforcement officers there are? How they are deployed? Also a breakdown of officers in each area. ie how many officers in Bridlington, Beverley, Goole etc.

5. At the north and south side sea fronts why do the parking times differ from one side of the road to the other? The controlled parking zone has completely different timings to the pay as you go timings and the signage does not make this clear.

6. Who is responsible for illegal parking and driving over grass verges? Why no action seems to be taken over these issues? There are several areas in Bridlington ie outside Burlington School, areas of Marton Road, Cardigan Road and Kingsgate where there are stretches of grass that have been completely ruined.

7. Would it be possible to consider incorporating civil parking officers with a combined role of being able to enforce dog fouling issues? The enforcement officers would have dual purpose roles of issuing fines whilst they are out patrolling the streets of a given area.

The list was submitted to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council at the end of last week.