Wardens to take over Witney parking control

A new team of wardens will start work in Witney next week as the council takes control of on-street parking for the first time.
hames Valley Police is handing responsibility to West Oxfordshire District Council, which will put a six-strong squad of wardens on the streets from Monday.

The new wardens will wear green uniforms with high-visability jackets and will have the power to hand out penalty charge notices for parking offences.

They will manage council-run car parks and keep an eye out for problems such as littering, dog-fouling and graffiti.

District councillor David Harvey, cabinet member for environment, said: Having one team looking after parking across the district makes complete sense.

The district council is taking on parking management because we want to preserve our market towns and the free on-street and off-street parking that exists.

This is a great boon for west Oxfordshire, as it is an added attraction to visitors and helps maintain a thriving local economy.

At the moment, two police traffic wardens are in charge of keeping control of on-street parking in the town, while another pair of council workers look after local authority car parks.

Mr Harvey confirmed the parking wardens employed by Thames Valley Police will join the teams.

The district council also said all car parks in west Oxfordshire would remain free and there were no plans to introduce on-street pay-and-display or residents parking areas.

Town hall chiefs could not say how much it would cost to implement the new team of wardens, but said income from penalty charge notices would be used to improve transport and parking services.

Mr Harvey added: At the moment, there is a big division with on-street parking and off-street parking.

By taking all of that under one banner, it gives you much greater freedom to work with. This is all so that we get better traffic management.

We thought it would be better if car parking came under our own jurisdiction.

Most people will not see any changes in the way we operate car parking in west Oxfordshire.

The changes mean the majority of parking offences, including parking on yellow lines and in parking bays, are no longer criminal offences and will now be classed as civil contraventions.

Offences that come with endorsements on driving licences, such as parking on the zig-zag lines of pedestrian crossings, will remain criminal and will be enforced by the police.

Geoffrey Nutt, 70, of Oakfield Place, Witney, said: As I understand it, they will do the same job as the traffic wardens used to do, which I have no problem with.

We do need wardens in the town as people are parking on double yellow lines, which causes havoc in the town.

Jim Breen, of Finstock, said: It will be interesting to see how it goes. There is a lot of bad parking all over the place anyway.
West Oxfordshire District Council
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