Three traffic wardens have been hired to target Falkirk’s ‘parking bandits’ - but will also have to patrol streets in Stirling.
The deal agreed between the two local authorities and Police Scotland will cost the council £18,000 a year in wages.
The wardens will work under contract with their police bosses expected to pick up the rest of the wage bill and provide back office and management support.
Falkirk Council considered legal action after Chief Constable Sir Stephen House announced last November that traffic warden provision across the district would be scrapped from February.
Police Scotland’s Falkirk commander then said it could continue as before - if the council agreed to meet the yearly costs of £48,000.
The legal challenge, backed by Stirling and Scottish Borders councils, to seek a judicial review of the decision did not go ahead only after an undertaking from Scotland’s top cop that levels of parking enforcement would be maintained until April while further talks between the sides were held.
Falkirk Council had hoped parking wardens could continue to patrol its streets without any additional cost to local taxpayers. But, just in case, it drew up contingency plans to negotiate an agreement with the local commander for a local service it would pay for.
Yesterday (Wednesday) a council spokesman confirmed ‘Plan B’ will be put in place shortly.
He said: “We expect to sign a formal agreement in the near future with Stirling Council and Police Scotland to provide three traffic wardens to be shared across both areas. It will cost Falkirk Council approximately £18,000 a year and is designed to provide services such as minimising the misuse of disabled parking space, preventing the dangerous parking of vehicles, preventing vehicles causing obstructions and ensuring adherence to traffic regulation orders.”
The selfish attitude of ‘park anywhere’ drivers ready to gamble on the chances of a traffic warden sticking a fixed penalty notice on their windscreen while they are illegally parked, has turned some streets in Falkirk including Kirk Wynd and Manor Place into hot-spots.
Despite bays being clearly marked ‘disabled’ and reserved for blue badge holders only, able-bodied motorists regularly claim them – and get away with it.
The problem also extends to supermarket car parks where rules identifying disabled and parent-and-child only bays are also ignored.
Councillor Craig Martin. leader of Falkirk Council, said: “I warned in March the impact of cutting traffic warden provision would have on our disabled drivers and taxpayers. We thought we had a good case to protect them and avoid parking chaos.”