A PARKING warden will return to patrol shopping areas this month to the relief of traders.
After years of no on-street parking enforcement, careless drivers will no longer be able to outstay their welcome in Gosport’s one-hour bays.
People who park recklessly on double yellow lines will also be targeted.
Shopkeepers say the problems on the street are costing them business.
Aaron Richardson, the manager of Tony’s Fresh Fish in Stoke Road, said: ‘It’s about time.
‘People overstay their welcome and park where they shouldn’t all the time.
‘And it’s not just shoppers, people from shops and businesses do it as well.
‘At one point we made some signs and put them under people’s wipers but most of the time they didn’t take notice.’
The News reported in January that Gosport Borough Council and Hampshire County Council struck a deal with Hampshire Constabulary over the reintroduction of a parking warden in the borough.
They have each agreed to fork out £15,000 a year for the police to reintroduce parking patrols.
For a while, regular police officers have been given the task of handing out tickets until the full-time warden starts work.
George Mason, who owns a barber’s shop in Stoke Road, said: ‘The parking is a problem and we did notice it got worse when the previous warden left.
‘It’s a really good idea to bring the parking warden back and hopefully we will see a difference.
‘Hopefully it will get things flowing again and you won’t get people parking in the one-hour bays for a long time.’
The problem is also rife in areas around Gosport’s High Street and in Lee-on-the-Solent.
The leader of Gosport Borough Council, Councillor Mark Hook, said he understood somebody had been hired and was undergoing checks.
Cllr Hook said: ‘They have selected somebody and at the moment they are going through the checks.
‘I would imagine they will be in position in the next couple of weeks.
‘There have been so many safety concerns about irresponsible parking and people parking on double yellow lines.
‘We also get people parking all day in the one-hour spaces and it’s not on.’
Gosport Borough Council is powerless to enforce on-street parking in the town because it is the legal responsibility of the police.
It means enforcement of on-street parking can only be done by police officers or traffic wardens.