A major crackdown on illegal parking across the Highlands and islands – including a host of remote towns and villages – started to be rolled out yesterday as the tourist season begins to kick off.
Highland Council took over parking enforcement from the police in 2016 and has around a dozen self-funded parking enforcement wardens.
In the first seven months of the scheme starting enforcers handed out tickets at a rate of one every 24 minutes, “earning” more than £200,000.
Local politicians claim the roll-out will help clamp down on inconsiderate parking in beauty spots, and stop people using passing places to avoid paying parking charges.
The parking enforcement in 2016 saw delivery in Inverness and Fort William and all off-street car parks.
Phase two of the rollout was introduced yesterday and sees enforcement delivered in a further 19 locations.
It includes roads containing on-street parking, waiting and loading prohibitions and restrictions within Alness, Brora, Broadford, Dingwall, Dunvegan, Grantown-on-Spey, Invergordon, Kyle of Lochalsh, Kyleakin, Mallaig, Nairn, Portree, Scrabster, Sligachan , Storr, Tain, Thurso, Ullapool and Wick.
Mobile Officers have begun patrolling these areas on a random basis and are operating from bases in Fort William, Skye and Inverness.
Officers will initially be issuing warning notices to all vehicles in contravention for a two-week period but will issue full penalties where they deem appropriate.
Councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of the environment, development and infrastructure committee said:” This is about traffic management, but will also generate income for the council.”
Council convener Bill Lobban said: “This roll out of on-street parking enforcement will provide much needed improvements in the streets of our towns and villages.
“It is expected that this service will be cost neutral in that the service will have to pay for itself so be warned if you park in the wrong place you will be charged”
MSP Edward Mountain said: “I urge the Highland Council to show consideration to the enforcement of all parking restrictions instead of just forcing vehicles to other locations where there are no restrictions .”
Kate Forbes MSP said: “There are particular circumstances in rural areas which need to be carefully considered when it comes to parking rules and regulations, and I hope that the Council will bear that in mind.”
Clamping charges are set at £40, with towing charges at £150 with an additional £20 a day fee.
Phase two of the enforcement rollout will be delivered in a further 19 locations.
It includes roads containing on-street parking, waiting and loading prohibitions and restrictions within:
- Kyle of Lochalsh
Phase one was introduced in 2016 and saw delivery in parts of Inverness and Fort William and to all off-street car parks.