Friday, 10 May 2013

The parking changes which do Cornwall Council a discredit

Sadly, more and more people are being caught out by changes to parking rules and regulations in and around Launceston. And Cornwall Council is seeing its reputation trashed as a result of a situation that could, and should, have been handled very differently.

Earlier this year the council decided to make various changes to parking rules around the town. One of these was to introduce residents parking schemes in Western Road, Kensey Hill and Race Hill. The problem is not whether or not this was the right decision, but how it was communicated.

I argued at the time that the council should do its utmost to make drivers aware of the changes. I didn't think that the first people knew about any change should be a ticket on their windscreen. I asked for a two or three week period when, instead of handing out fixed penalty notices, the council should be putting notes under windscreen wipers to advertise the change.

But the council refused. They argued that the statutory notices in local papers and the changes to the signage at the side of the road would inform drivers. I have yet to come across more than one or two people who actually read the council's notices in the papers. The form and content is required by law and is, in my view, a colossal waste of money. And the road signage looks exactly the same as what was there before unless you take the trouble to study it closely.

And, to add insult to injury, the parking service claimed that putting notes under windscreen wipers risked the council being sued for trespass. (Which is utter rubbish, by the way. It is the action that the Police have advised)

And so many visitors to our town who have been parking in the same place for years are getting tickets.

I don't blame the traffic wardens who are simply doing their jobs and applying the law completely properly.

But this is a cock-up by the council which should have been avoided and is the sort of attitude which I hope can be changed.

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