Council hopes for return of town’s parking wardens

Trespasser halts train services across the city

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TRAFFIC wardens could be making a return to monitor parking in Gosport.

Gosport Borough Council is trying to strike a deal with Hampshire Constabulary over the reintroduction of street parking patrols.

Many of the town’s roads have one-hour parking restrictions but these are currently not enforced.

Cllr Mark Hook, the council leader, says he wants measures introduced to put a stop to the abuse of parking spaces.

He said: ‘We recognise there is a problem and we should be proactive about it and make sure we get the best financial deal for everyone involved.

‘I have received comments from people who just want to nip into town for half an hour and there should be one-hour parking for that.

‘That is being abused so we are having this discussion.’

Gosport’s council, the county council and the police are looking at ways to bring back patrols.

One option is for the council to take over the running of on-street parking.

It means the council would have to employ its own officers to enforce restrictions and create traffic orders for each road.

But this would be costly and could spiral into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The alternative is for Gosport taxpayers to fund the employment of a police traffic warden.

Enforcement of on-street parking can only be done by police officers or traffic wardens.

Cllr Hook added: ‘We don’t have any traffic wardens and there are more serious matters for police officers to be spending their time on.

‘The problem is that if we employ a traffic warden then the fines go to government and there isn’t an option to change that.’

Parking restrictions in the town’s off-street car parks are already looked after by the council.

Chief Inspector Jason Kenny, Gosport and Fareham’s district commander, said: ‘Hampshire Constabulary is working with Gosport and Hampshire to remedy the issue of on-street parking infringements.

‘Recommendations will be put to decision-makers to try to resolve the issue.’