Council seeks contractor for on-street parking in county

A single contract to operate on-street parking throughout the county will be put out to tender in the coming weeks.

Enforcement is currently carried out on behalf of the county council by the six district councils, which issue tickets and provide back office support, meaning much of the money generated goes towards paying for the cost of the operation.

However, the council wants to allay fears that the new scheme, for which bids will be invited in September, is a profit-making exercise or that the contractor will be incentivised to issue parking tickets.

Rather, it will lead to greater flexibility and consistency, and free up money to be invested in parking, roads and local transport.

Jim Daniels, parking manager at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "If someone is parking in Stroud one day and then going to Cirencester the next day, for example, they will see the same approach to parking, by the same people and in the same way. A single provider will improve the service for customers and save money for all councils."

All parking services will continue to be overseen by Gloucestershire County Council, which will work extensively with the chosen provider to ensure a smooth transition.

Cllr Chas Fellows, cabinet member for environment, said: "This is an opportunity to make parking enforcement more efficient - and not to turn a profit. It doesn't matter how many tickets the contractor issues, they will be paid the same amount."

A service provider is expected to be appointed by December, while the new arrangements would begin in four districts in April 2013 with the exception of Gloucester and the Forest of Dean, which would adopt the new scheme in September 2014 subject to further discussions.

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