Council steps up efforts to tackle illegal parking

Normanton Library is re-opening after it's refurbishment.'Coun David Dagger
Normanton Library is re-opening after it's refurbishment.'Coun David Dagger

Council bosses hope to get more powers to tackle illegal parking around the district.

Wakefield Council is preparing to apply to the government to take over responsibilty for enforcing on-street parking from the police.

Parking violations would be dealt with as a civil matter instead of being criminal offences if the council’s application, expected in March, is approved.

The council’s cabinet will discuss the move at its next meeting on Tuesday.

David Dagger, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for transportation and highways said: “Illegal parking is inconsiderate at best and dangerous at the worst.

“It can cause a number of problems from increasing traffic disruption to compromising pedestrian and traffic safety.

“This new policy provides a framework for all our parking services across the district focusing on various parking guidelines.

“If our application to government is accepted, we will be able tackle the issue of illegal parking with a firmer approach to make sure road safety and reduce illegal parking in the Wakefield area.”

Last April, the council’s cabinet approved recommendations to bring in Controlled Parking Zones, where people would be charged to park outside their own homes.

Up to 5,000 people were expected to be affected, but no charges would be introduced for the 10,000 people who already had a free parking permit.

At Tuesday’s meeting councillors will be asked to approve the local authority’s parking policy for 2015 in order to make the application to take over responsibility for parking enforcement.

A report to the meeting said: “Implementation of the policy itself will not have any specific impact on the income the council receives from car parking charges, and the policy is not financially driven.”