Action pledged to deal with bad parkers

Parking issues at Weir Street
Parking issues at Weir Street

Inconsiderate drivers have been warned they face fines of up to £50 if they are caught breaking parking rules.

Falkirk Council bosses have upped the stakes to catch culprits using bays earmarked for the exclusive use of blue badge holders or parking without paying for a ticket by ordering its community wardens to carry out more patrols in and around the town centre.

Police Scotland has also urged disabled drivers denied the right to park by rogue motorists to report it to them for action.

Since funding cuts forced the police to scrap its traffic warden service in 2013, it has been claimed parking in many areas has become a free-for-all.

Last month a disabled pensioner contacted The Falkirk Herald for help after finding it “impossible” to find any disabled bay in Manor Street that was being legitimately used.

John Penman from Kersehill Crescent in Falkirk said: “These bays are always full, but more often than not the car is not displaying a blue badge.”

This week Janette Bayne (68) from Loudens Walk, Dunipace, hit out on behalf of her husband, George (74), who because of ill-health has needed a wheelchair to get around for the past year.

The couple enjoy coming to Falkirk for a meal and, because their favourite eatery is close by, try to use the council car park in Weir Street when they can.

Last Wednesday they managed to find a disabled space - but were shocked on their return to find the lowered kerb opposite the car park was blocked by a car that was not even displaying a ticket.

As she tried to move the wheelchair off the high kerb, she nearly toppled her husband out of his chair. Only the help of a member of the public prevented something serious happening.

Janette said: “I had no option but to try to lower the wheelchair off the part of the kerb that was not blocked by a car and just lost control of it. We both got quite a fright and so grateful to the passer-by who was there to help, but it brought home how ridiculous the situation is. We need a disabled bay because it’s wider and makes it easier to get the wheelchair in and out. But the lowered kerb on Weir Street is just as important.

“Why people would want to use a disabled bay they’re not entitled to or park across the lowered kerb is something we don’t understand.”