The end of free parking in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire County Council - in common with many local authorities - is planning to taking on the responsibility of parking enforcement from the police. This is due to commence in June 2012. This policy has caused controversy in Hull, where parking wardens sniff around cars, waiting to pounce like pit-bull terriers. This has caused numerous complaints from irate motorists whose only crime has been allowing their cars to hang-over double yellow lines. Some of the spaces are so narrow, it is virtually impossible to fit your car in - not that this bothers the wardens.

In Lincolnshire, there are hundreds of free on-street parking spaces in the smaller towns. Many people park there just to visit a couple of shops and then go on their way. Naturally traders are happy with this arrangement as it encourages people to shop in their town.  All of this could change in June next year. The council in its wisdom  wants to scrap  free parking, and install parking meters. Its rationale: we need to find more money to pay for parking wardens! These are the same wardens who will patrol these smaller towns, handing out tickets to those drivers who have not 'paid and displayed' the correct fee.

I understand councils need to find the money from somewhere, but no-one wants to see  more businesses go to the wall. This is a very likely outcome if Lincolnshire County Council gets its way. On the clip below you can see a report of the story, and how petty wardens have been in Hull. You can also see the interview with the Head of Highways in Lincolnshire, who doesn't seem able to grasp the point that if you don't charge for parking, you won't need as many wardens. He is the epitome of the faceless bureaucrat who doesn't understand the economic realities facing small business owners. The only point I agreed with him on is that it's now the responsibility of councillors to have the final say, and they will be doing just that next Monday.

If you live in Lincolnshire, work there or visit the county, and would like to have your say, you can e-mail the chairman of the Highways, Transport and Technology Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Richard Davies. I'm sure he would welcome your views.

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