At last...! Parking enforcement finally arrives to the streets of Wick
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Enforcement officers have taken to the streets of Wick as Judgement Day finally descended on the plague of illegally parked vehicles that have left roads blocked, traders unable to take delivery of stock, and pedestrians cursing the selfishness of others.
Highland Council said that its mobile officers had begun patrolling towns on a random basis operating from bases in Fort William, Skye and Inverness, with Monday’s initial stage seeing cars on Wick’s Bridge Street and Sinclair Terrace targeted, amongst others.
“Officers will initially be issuing warning notices to all vehicles in contravention for a two-week period but will issue full penalty charge notices where they deem appropriate,” a council spokeswoman said.
Phase two of the rollout went into action on Tuesday, with enforcement delivered in a further 19 locations: roads containing on-street parking, waiting and loading prohibitions and widespread restrictions that also took in Thurso, Scrabster, and Brora.
The council claimed to have given local people prior warning, but notices tagged on lampposts throughout the town made no mention of any street in Wick or the county as a whole.
Local trader Kevin Milkins described the warnings as “totally ridiculous”.
“They’re just adding confusion to the matter once again. The council seem to be good at doing these gobbledegook notices,” he added.
Locations including Mallaig, Broadford, Nairn and Alness are clearly listed on the warning signs, but there was no mention of Caithness.
A council spokesperson, however, stressed the notices were correct and simply refer the public to where the information is available.
“There are 19 townships in this order and there is no way we can fit that information on a single notice.”
Among those calling for a stand against the rogue parkers were Wick and east Caithness councillor Raymond Bremner who stressed that a lot of people had been asking for measures to be taken.
“The new traffic regulations will help,” he said.
“At recent meetings, on social media and in the public domain we have been detailing what we can expect to see happening and that includes traffic wardens policing the area and enforcing the new restrictions.”
He underlined that the initial tickets were “warning notices” and that it was a fair way “to allow the folks a period of time to get used to the fact that parking fines will soon be introduced”.
“This doesn’t restrict loading and unloading or disabled access, in fact, those who require access will hopefully find it easier whilst those who park regularly for long periods will discontinue that.
“We are also very much working on the improvement of the car park condition at the riverside and there needs to be a greater conversation about car parking within the town.”