Traffic wardens could soon be back in Motherwell and Bellshill

Planners say wardens would help traffic flow in Motherwell town centre.
Planners say wardens would help traffic flow in Motherwell town centre.

Traffic wardens look set to return to Motherwell and Bellshill in an effort to help shopkeepers and cut congestion in the town centre.

They will hand out fines to drivers parking illegally, but the good news for motorists is parking will remain free.

However, it looks like there will be only FOUR wardens to cover all of North Lanarkshire.

The proposal will be put before councillors tomorrow (Thursday). North Lanarkshire Council acknowledges something must be done as the police no longer see parking offences as a priority.

Two years ago Strathclyde Police axed all seven wardens in North Lanarkshire and Graham MacKay, the council’s head of roads, admitted: “The regulations governing waiting and loading are not being enforced to the same extent as previously.

“The police are under ongoing pressure to use their limited resources in other ways and do not see parking offences as a priority.”

Two years ago the council considered introducing parking charges, but this was rejected.

Mr MacKay said fees would give the authority more income which would allow it to employ more wardens.

However, strict Government rules mean parking schemes must pay for themselves, so it’s unlikely the council would be able to employ as many as seven wardens without charging. The only income would be from tickets for parking offences.

The proposed scheme would mean just two to four wardens on duty at any one time in North Lanarkshire. They would hit areas ‘with the greatest degree of non-compliance’.

Mr MacKay said wardens would implement parking policies effectively, adding: “There would be improved traffic, public transport flow and road safety while parking spaces would be used for shopping to support the local economy.”