Keeping an eye on car parking

Peterhead traffic warden Alan Hastie is hanging up his ticket book.
Peterhead traffic warden Alan Hastie is hanging up his ticket book.

Peterhead could become a traffic warden-free town under a nationwide shake-up by their employer, Police Scotland.

It is understood that the town’s two wardens have applied for voluntary redundancy and are due to leave their posts at the end of October.

And plans are set to be drawn up to ‘decriminalise’ parking offences in Peterhead and transfer the enforcement of parking regulations from the police to Aberdeenshire Council.

Police Scotland could not confirm last week if the town’s traffic wardens would be replaced stating that a consultation process was currently underway with staff.

A spokesman said that the Scottish Police Authority announced an early retirement-voluntary redundancy scheme which had been made available to all eligible staff to apply and be considered.

“Any plans to replace individuals will be factored in as part of the organisational change process,” they said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said that a decriminalised parking enforcement was being considered for the region.

Commenting on the situation, Peterhead councillor Alan Gardiner said that the whole issue was “an unknown quantity”.

“It seems to be something that has been thrust upon us as opposed to carrying out any consultation,” he said.

“Traffic wardens are normally not the public’s favourite people but on the other hand they do a necessary job.

“If they are removed, then what are they being replaced with and how are things going to be done.

“I don’t think there has been enough discussion on this yet,” he added.

Fellow councillor Stephen Smith said that he believed people wouldn’t mind who managed the parking as long as it was administered effectively and met the needs of users and local businesses.

Meanwhile, Peterhead Community Council secretary, Gordon Farman, also expressed concern over the move.

“The community council is very concerned about how this is going to work.We are seeking a meeting with Police Scotland to discuss the matter,” he said.

The removal of traffic wardens from the town is something which could be expanded across the region, with wardens in other areas applying for early retirement.

They are being offered the chance to transfer to the local authority , but on a significantly reduced wage.

North-east MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “The revelation confirms fear that these posts are going to be lost and that Peterhead is going to be the first to suffer.”