COULD part-time traffic wardens be the answer to rogue parkers who are causing congestion in the town centres in Thurso and Wick?
That is the solution Wick and east Caithness Highland councillor Willie Mackay thinks could solve parking issues which have resulted in complaints from motorists and pedestrians.
Mr Mackay believes the local authority traffic wardens are not travelling regularly enough from Inverness and patrolling the streets of town centres in the far north.
Last year the council started up a team of 11 traffic wardens who were based in Inverness but were due to carry out patrols in other parts of the Highlands.
However it was revealed between January and May, the wardens had only been deployed in Caithness on three occasions in five months.
Mr Mackay believes the answer to the parking problems in the town centres is to introduce part-time traffic wardens to patrol the streets by using existing community wardens.
He said: “I would like to see Highland Council officers or council employees trained up to act as part-time traffic wardens.
“It is a scheme which existing staff could incorporate into the work that they are already doing.
“The existing traffic wardens from Highland Council only come up on average three hours a month which is not really helping the problem.”
“There has been a lot of support for this idea and even if they are to only work two or three mornings every week, I think it would be an effective solution.”Mr Mackay said Wick town centre is a particular problem and with the ready provision of car park spaces available close to Bridge Street and High Street, he said there is no excuse as to why it has become such a big issue.
“This problem needs to be addressed – we need to alleviate the situation, especially in Bridge Street in Wick,” said Mr Mackay.
“Wick has more parking places than any other town in the north of Scotland. The car parks are located on both sides of Bridge Street.
“As an incentive to get more parked cars off the street, I think it would be a good idea to train up wardens to walk on the street and warning culprits not to park there.”