Concerns over the impact of the loss of traffic wardens will prompt councillors to call on Police Scotland to delay their withdrawal.
A report for the full council meeting today, Thursday, states: “While fully recognising the significant financial pressure on Police Scotland, it is unlikely that SBC would be in a position to introduce Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) on an efficient and effective basis for two to three years.
“As such there is considerable concern over the proposal for the withdrawal of the role of traffic wardens.”
The report recommends responding to the Police Scotland proposal by requesting that the withdrawal of wardens is delayed until 2016.
The report states: “It is considered that the withdrawal of the role of traffic wardens by Police Scotland on a national basis is now somewhat inevitable.
“It is hoped, however, that their withdrawal locally can be delayed so that it is carried out in tandem with the decriminalisation of parking legislation and other minor road traffic offences.”
An additional concern for the council is that for a local authority to be given the go-ahead to undertake DPE it has to prove to Transport Scotland that the service can be achieved on a break-even basis at least.
However, the report says that in a rural area this may not be possible, adding: “This would mean that the only control available would be ‘appropriate enforcement activity’ by police officers ‘where parking is dangerous or causes significant obstruction’.
“This gives the council serious concern for effective traffic management and road safety within our towns and villages.”
The report states that a full review of car parking policy and all existing traffic regulation orders would need to be carried out ahead of any future options being presented to councillors.
It adds that an ‘enforcement void’ could lead to “significant parking problems across the Scottish Borders, which could have an adverse economic impact on town centres and lead to traffic congestion in particular areas”.
More than 1,110 parking tickets have been issued by the Borders wardens in the past 12 months.