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Elgin illegal parking: The five short-term options to tackle the problem

Should Moray Council be paying the police to do it?

Elgin High Street busy with parked cars.
Parking woes in Elgin town centre.

One of Elgin’s biggest problems continues to be illegal parking.

Concerns have grown in recent years about the number of drivers ignoring rules to drive and park their car wherever they want.

Police are currently the only people able to issue penalties for those flouting the rules.

However officers say they do not have the resources to provide the “consistent response” needed to tackle the issue.

Police say they have to devote their resources to more urgent calls. Image: DC Thomson

In long term, the local authority hopes the end of the Poundland works this year will solve the parking problem.

What about solutions to tackle the problem?

But in the meantime, officials have drawn up five short-term ideas for a fix.

Here are the options.

Do nothing

Multiple vans parked on Elgin High Street on Plainstones.
Illegal parking on Elgin High Street. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Leave the illegal parking unaddressed. This option would cause reputation and road safety risks.

However, the new pavement parking legislation through the Transport (Scotland) Act
2019 has raised awareness of wider parking compliance issues and expectations of solutions to these issues.

PR campaign

Moray Council.

Around £10k could be spent on an Elgin-focused campaign on safe and considerate parking.

The council would work with partners to do this via social media and paid for advertising.

They would also promote the location of the current car parks.

Officials believe this would help demonstrate the council listening and responding to concerns raised.

Special Constables

Special Constables pictured for illustration purposes.

Officers have asked councillors to consider whether Special Constables could carry out parking enforcement.

They are volunteers with the same powers as regular officers.

Fund police officer time

Problem parking in and around the High Street in Elgin continues to be an issue. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Moray Council could provide funding to Police Scotland for overtime hours to undertake parking enforcement.

Officers would be required to do this along with other policing priorities.

Therefore, the council would not pay for any hours of enforcement activity not carried out if there had been the need for officers to be redeployed to an emergency situation.

Problem parking in and around the High Street in Elgin.  Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

An indicative proposal has been discussed with Police Scotland about an 18-month agreement.

  • It would be broken into three to 6 month period’s to allow for mutual review.
  • It would set out an average of 25 hours of enforcement per month.
  • As well as monthly reviews on number of tickets issued, behaviour change in terms of vehicles parked illegally and practical delivery.

The arrangement, which would focus on Batchen Street and the Plainstones area, could cost around £20,000.

Pay police for sub contractors

Police Scotland are allowed to sub contract certain functions to third party providers including traffic warden duties.

The local authority could enter into an agreement with the police to employ temporary staff to carry out traffic warden duties.

Officials think this option could cost more than funding officer time.

However, it would provide a greater number of hours of enforcement cover.

This option doesn’t align to the position of Police Scotland to parking offences.

It can be pursued by local authorities taking on enforcement powers through decriminalised parking enforcement.

Give the police’s view on the option, it is not recommended for further exploration.

What is being done to tackle pavement parking?

Meanwhile, councillors will also look at options to tackle the pavement parking issue.

In the long-term, installing bollards have been proposed at key locations in the town centre that would rise and fall to coincide with existing pedestrianisation timings.

The installations would mean drivers would be physically blocked from parking on the central section of the High Street during those times.

However, the bollards will not extend to the west end of the High Street, where pavement parking concerns have been widely reported.

Map of where traffic bollards could go in Elgin town centre.
Where traffic bollards could be installed in Elgin town centre. Image: Moray Council

Here are the options:

  • Do nothing.
  • Run a PR campaign and continue to liaise with police.
  • Hire extra staff to enforce legislation which would cost in the region of £65,000.

On Tuesday, the councillors will discuss all of this on the Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee.

One every three minutes: I ‘hand out’ £10,000 in fines in just one day in Elgin as I hit the streets as a traffic warden

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