Unsafe Parking Crackdown Around Wokingham Schools
Wokingham Borough Council is increasing its number of parking wardens in response to complaints of unsafe parking around schools across the borough.
The council will expand its team of parking enforcement officers due to the recent increase in the number of residents raising concerns about drivers parking unsafely and illegally outside schools and other areas with high levels of unsafe parking around the borough.
Although parking restrictions are in place, the council continues to receive requests from residents for more frequent enforcement, especially in specific towns and villages, such as Twyford, Earley, Shinfield and Finchampstead around schools, shops and train stations.
“The majority of parking complaints we receive from our residents are about the school run,” said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport. “Due to the sheer volume of complaints, we don’t currently have the capacity to visit the trouble spots regularly enough for our patrols to have a significant enough impact on changing this negative behaviour.
“We are trying to change dangerous behaviour and decrease congestion caused by parking violations. We have listened to the concerns of our residents and increased visible patrol presence across the borough to ensure the safety of our residents.”
The council will increase its civil parking enforcement team by 75% which will provide more effective enforcement across the borough as well as increase the number of schools they are able to visit per day. The extra resource will be flexibly targeted across the Borough to give the council the maximum ability to deal with problem areas.
The additional resource within the parking department will also play a vital role in the council’s new pilot scheme announced by Cllr Jorgensen at the full council meeting last week. The council will be piloting a new initiative to introduce parking infringement notices (PIN) that will see council parking wardens issue warnings to those causing unnecessary and wilful obstruction of the highway.
“There are a number of parking violations that we receive complaints about but are unable to enforce, such as parking on pavements and at the corners of roads. These remain the responsibility of the police,” continued Cllr Jorgensen.
“There may be some drivers who are unaware that they are parking illegally as our parking wardens have not previously issued them with a ticket. By issuing PIN notices we can educate those residents that are parked illegally as well as gather evidence of persistent offenders that can be passed onto Thames Valley Police (TVP). This is something we were previously not allowed to do and we are grateful to TVP for allowing us to trial this new initiative.”
For further details of parking restrictions around the borough visit the council website at www.wokingham.gov.uk and search ‘parking restrictions’.
PINs will be issued to vehicles by trained parking wardens and the details of vehicles recorded in a database, which will be used to evaluate the impact of the pilot upon specific locations and vehicles involved. The information will be made available to Thames Valley Police for consideration of further action, as deemed necessary.
The pilot PIN initiative will begin in October and run until the end of the year. An interim review will then be carried out and any amendments to the process made in order for the project to run until the end March 2020.