Parking notices plan stalls
Plans for a local council to issue official ‘polite notices’ to drivers who break parking rules have stalled.
Members of Newport Town Council said they were worried irate drivers might “take the notices personally”, visit their office and argue with staff, and instead asked their clerk to meet with police about the issue.
Meanwhile, the mayor said he spends “half his life” personally visiting repeat offenders to talk about their inconsiderate parking – with mixed results.
Councillor Peter Scott said: “They’ve said ‘Oh, yes, sorry…’ and they’re doing it again the next day.”
The town council was discussing a proposal from councillor Scott and councillor Tony Forrester to attach notices to cars that stay beyond the 40-minute limit on Newport High Street.
Councillor Scott, the town mayor, said he had asked the police about the legal position.
“We can do this as long as we make it clear that it is from Newport Town Council, not the police, and we don’t have the power to fine,” he said.
“It’s more a polite advice notice.”
Town council clerk Sheila Atkinson asked: “How do you propose that we deal with the public coming into the Guildhall?”
Councillor Scott said: “If they come in, having parked here for three hours, we tell them the truth: They’ve broken the rules. It’s 40 minutes only. They won’t have a leg to stand on.”
Councillor Lyn Fowler: “I deal with people yelling down the phone to me regularly, and that’s one thing. But having people in the office is different.”
But Councillor Nigel Borrett warned that drivers might take those notices personally and claim they are being “picked on”.
Councillor Tim Nelson said resolving disputes around High Street parking would be straightforward, as the area is covered by CCTV.
He said: “Pavement parking is a different issue, it will be less clear.”
Councillor Scott said he knew the identity of some culprits, and councillor Fowler asked: “Have you approached them by letter?”
He said: “No. I’ve been round to see them. And they’ve said ‘Oh, yes, sorry…’ and they’re doing it again the next day.”
But he also said he spends “half his life” talking to students about their parking.
“Often it’s taken on board,” he said.
Councillor Scott said his colleagues clearly had reservations about the notices plan.
“I think it’s better we ask the town clerk to go to the ICM [Integrated Community Management – a police liaison group] with our frustrations and find a way forward,” he said.
“One or two people have put forward concerns, and they need to be ironed out.”
Story by Local Democracy Reporter Alex Moore