South Scotland

Borders parking problem perception questioned

Hawick High Street Image copyright Google
Image caption Future Hawick wants action taken to tackle problems with parking in the town

A council report has concluded the withdrawal of traffic wardens in the Borders may not have had "as big an impact as is generally perceived".

Police Scotland ended the service across most of the country in 2014.

Regeneration group Future Hawick has lodged a petition claiming a "marked increase in the abuse of parking regulations" in the town.

However, Scottish Borders Council claimed parking habits had "not actually changed significantly".

The local authority is currently considering its position with regard to the management of on-street parking.

One option would be to introduce its own wardens but that would be an expensive one.

It would cost the council around £200,000 to set up and could not happen for at least two years. The Scottish government would have to agree and give the council the necessary powers.

'Action required'

The Future Hawick petition highlights parking issues which it said were decreasing footfall on the High Street at a time when businesses were suffering an economic downturn.

"The situation has reached the stage where action is required," it said.

It has called on the council to take action immediately.

A report on the subject said there was no comparable data for Hawick prior to the removal of traffic wardens but studies in other areas had shown the impact had not been as great as was perceived.

It recommended that the council take no further action before a report in November on the wider issue of parking and traffic management.

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