Council opposed to wardens removal

Traffic Warden on Plamerston Place
Traffic Warden on Plamerston Place

West Lothian Council has condemned Police Scotland’s decision to remove traffic wardens from the area.

The council received notification from Police Scotland on December 24 that it intends to remove the traffic warden service in West Lothian from February 3, 2014. It is believed up to three positions will go.

The council and a wide range of organisations voiced their strong opposition to the proposals during Police Scotland’s consultation on the proposals earlier this year.

Leader of West Lothian Council, Councillor John McGinty said: “We would strongly urge Police Scotland to reconsider the decision to remove traffic wardens from West Lothian which we believe will impact negatively on the communities we both serve.

“Effective car parking enforcement in West Lothian has been positively managed by police and traffic wardens for many years and removing the service at short notice is likely to adversely affect residents.

“We understand that, similar to the council, police are facing budget reductions and these proposals are aimed at saving money.

‘‘We would question whether this decision will deliver the savings expected without impacting on core police business. Police still have responsibility for traffic enforcement, so these changes could see higher-paid police officers having to deal with more parking issues rather than civilian traffic wardens.

“West Lothian Council has always enjoyed a strong partnership with the 
police with 21 officers paid for by West Lothian residents through council funds.

‘‘I would urge Police Scotland to take on board the views of the West Lothian community and reconsider the decision to withdraw traffic wardens.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: ‘‘We are currently in the process of informing all stakeholders about the future of the traffic wardens service where it is provided by Police Scotland.

“Where parking is dangerous or causes significant obstruction, police officers will continue to resolve the issue using the appropriate enforcement activity.

“We will continue to work in partnership with our communities through targeted enforcement activity where our communities or officers identify problems in relation to parking matters.’’