Extra long-stay parking spaces as new Telford traffic wardens spark concern
Concern over the impact of new traffic wardens in Telford is leading Wellington Town Council to introduce 30 new long-term parking spaces.
Councillor Anthony Lowe, Mayor of Wellington, said there was consternation from residents and business owners with Telford & Wrekin Council taking over responsibility for parking enforcement from January 31.
In recent years the responsibility for parking tickets has fallen on the police in Telford, but without resources to monitor parking, traders and locals have on the whole avoided tickets for parking illegally.
Five neighbourhood enforcement officers, with the power to hand out parking tickets, have been employed for the change. In the run up to the takeover they have been issuing fake 'parking ticket' reminders to people who are parked illegally.
Councillor Lowe said that although they do not condone illegal parking, they were so concerned about shoppers being reluctant to come to the town that they had decided to take action.
Under the plan, which will be put in place in the next two months or so, around 30 short stay spaces on Victoria Road North will be made into long-stay spaces.
Councillor Lowe said: "We are doing it on a trial basis to see to what extent it alleviates the long-stay parking problem.
"We have been listening to what residents and traders have been telling us about the decriminalisation of parking."
The decision was taken at a meeting of the council yesterday.
Councillor Lowe said there were several concerns about the impact of new enforcement.
He said: "One is that shoppers might hesitate to come to Wellington because they might feel they would struggle to find a parking space and obviously the success of a town like Wellington depends on footfall and anything we can do to generate new parking spaces is a good thing."
Councillor Lowe said that workers have told him the situation is so difficult that some are arriving for work more than an hour early just to ensure they have a space for the day.
He added: "There is a genuine concern and we are taking that seriously and are taking the necessary measures to make sure it is not a problem.
"It is difficult, parking is and will remain free in Wellington and that is our absolute commitment."
He said the issue of parking in Wellington was a vicious circle, and the town would be a victim of its own success.
Councillor Lowe added: "The more successful Wellington is, the more it becomes a problem."
Russell Griffin, spokesman for Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “All of the short stay car parks in Wellington are regulated by free ticket machines, which ensure the three-hour limit is effectively managed.
"This was introduced in 2017 to ensure there was a regular turnaround of visitors to Wellington town centre, to boost trade.
"We are now working closely with Wellington Town Council to develop a parking strategy.”
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