‘Chaos’ fear as Peebles and Innerleithen lose traffic warden

A COUNCILLOR who is a member of the police board has hit out at the news that the traffic warden who patrols Peebles and Innerleithen has taken voluntary redundancy and will not be replaced.

The two towns, notorious for traffic congestion caused by illegal parking, will be covered by wardens from Galashiels where, with the departure of Fiona Chisholm after a long period of illness, there are now only 1.5 full-time equivalent posts.

Gavin Logan (Tweeddale East), who represents Scottish Borders Council on Lothian and Borders Police Board, said: “As a member of the board, I am disappointed that I was only alerted to this development by the press before attending this week’s meeting of Innerleithen Community Council.

“There are huge traffic problems in Peebles and Innerleithen and this development can only make matters worse.

“Coming on top of the reduction in front-counter hours at Peebles police station and the closure of the station in Innerleithen, this will be perceived locally as a dimunition in front-line services.

“There must be more consideration given to this important issue and there should, even now, be consultation with the local community.”

Superintendent Andrew Allan, in charge of operational issues in G (Borders) Division, said that a special initiative to tackle illegal parking in Peebles in the run-up to Christmas had shown clearly that staff resources from wider areas are used to target local issues.

“Inspector Mike Wynne, who is based in Galashiels, can deploy wardens to Innerleithen and Peebles as required and, if necessary, seek support from elsewhere in the division,” said Superintendent Allan.

Mr Logan said: “Given this clear cut in service, I can only appeal to the motorists in the affected towns to behave responsibly, abide by the parking laws and act considerately to other road users and pedestrians. Otherwise, I can foresee nothing but chaos.”