Drivers who have grown used to parking where they please are in for a rude awakening next week when Parking Enforcement Officers hit the streets.
People could find their usual parking spot now lands them a fine of up to £70 as Lincolnshire County Council’s new PEOs are unleashed on Monday (Dec 3).
The team of 20 new parking officers will be covering the county and cracking down on those who park illegally.
Coun William Webb, the county council’s executive member for highways and transportation, said: “We are one of the last places in the country to apply for these powers, something the government is encouraging all local authorities to do.”
The officers have spent the past two weeks posting warning notices on the windscreens of those breaking the rules. More than 1,000 such notices have so far been dished out across the county but the council denies this is a revenue-boosting scheme.
Coun Webb said: “This isn’t about making money, this is about helping to keep people moving safely, reducing congestion and inconsiderate parking, along with supporting those businesses with parking bays nearby.”
People who live in the town centre and already struggle to find a space outside their home could be hit hardest through the new parking enforcement measures.
Business owner and community champion Libby Simpson has been pushing for a residents’ parking scheme for people living in the University Court area of Grantham.
She said: “It’s obviously going to have a strong impact on residents in the town centre who struggle to find a space.
“They face getting tickets for parking on their own street.”
Libby has begun handing out stickers to people in University Square which they can put in their car window to inform the parking officers they live on that street.
Libby supports steps to tackle illegal parking but hopes her stickers might get residents parking in their own street “that bit of leniency”.
She added: “There needs to be leeway for residents. We have nowhere to park.”
Q) How much will I be fined?
A) Either £50 or £70 but the fine will be reduced by half if you pay within 14 days.
Q) Where will the money go?
A) The council believe the scheme will be self-finding but any surplus money from fines will be used for transport improvements. If not enough money is raised to pay for the scheme the district and county council will fund the shortfall.
Q) Do the parking officers have targets to hit?
A) “Absolutely not” says the county council. They say the new parking officers will take a “sensible approach”.
Q) Will vehicles be clamped or towed?
A) So far there is no intention to introduce clamping or removals.