New parking wardens set for duty

Motorists in Preston could be confronted by a third set of parking wardens in less than 12 months.
But town hall bosses have insisted drivers would still be greeted by "service with a smile".

Preston Council signed up with the Legion Group to provide wardens for off-street car parks such as the Bus Station after the Parkwise agreement ended last September.

But the Legion deal only runs until June this year, meaning the council is now seeking tenders for a new contract from summer 2010.#

Mick Lovatt, corporate director of environment for Preston Council, said: "We are going out to tender for off-street parking. Legion Services we will be encouraging to bid along with many others."

Asked if that could mean a third organisation taking over enforcement, he added: "It's possible. What we are doing is carefully specifying the contract that we want."

Council bosses insisted when the council took responsibility from car parks away from the Parkwise scheme that new wardens would have a more
"common sense approach" to enforcement and offer "service with a smile".

Coun Ken Hudson, leader of Preston Council, said that would carry on whoever was responsible from June.

"Service with a smile will continue," he added.

"That is the idea behind the whole thing."

NSL Services and Lancashire County Council are still responsible for on-street parking enforcement across the districts.

The Evening Post revealed in November that the number of tickets issued on the Bus Station, Market and Hill Street car parks in the first month of the new arrangements had almost halved compared to the previous year.

On the Hill Street facility just four tickets were handed out in September 2009 compared to 50 in September 2008 under Parkwise.

Councillors will take the decision on the contract no later than May 12, according to council papers.

The contract will run until September 2014.
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