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By Colin Smeeton
Parking enforcement on Arran is to be transferred from the police to North Ayrshire Council.
But there is concern how this will be implemented with many believing that Police Scotland are in the best position on the island to monitor and enforce parking laws.
However, at last week’s full meeting of North Ayrshire Council it was agreed that the local authority will take over control of parking enforcement, although this will have to involve the hiring of parking attendants on the island.
The discussion follows on from an earlier proposal which sought to introduce parking charges in various areas across North Ayrshire. However, theses proposals, which included Brodick, have now finally been thrown out.
Local councilors Timothy Billings, Ellen McMaster and Ardrossan councillor Tony Gurney made the case against introducing the parking charges and the audit and scrutiny committee agreed and returned the proposal to the council to reconsider.
Parking enforcement has until been the responsibility of Police Scotland and on Arran this was mostly only undertaken in response to complaints or in instances of obstructive parking. The decriminalisation of parking will return the powers to the local authority who have previously been powerless to enforce parking restrictions.
Councillor Billings said: ‘Ellen and I are delighted that we won over the council on the parking charges, but we considered that the police should have kept control of enforcement as they travel across the island on a daily basis and have a very good overview of what happens on Arran. We think that council enforcement will not be as consistent as the police are able to be and there is a possibility that the level of enforcement will go down. Also, as the council will have control over parking issues, it means that the council could impose charged at some time in the future.
‘One bit of good to come out of this is that across North Ayrshire there will be consideration to where changes in parking restrictions could be of benefit – many are aware of the parking issues in Lamlash near to the Co-op. This will be an opportunity to get a workable solution to the problematic T junction.’
As with many council decisions the process to institute a by-law is a bureaucratic procedure that can take many months to implement. The statutory process will now see North Ayrshire Council applying to the Scottish Government to take over the parking enforcement powers. This can take around 18 months to complete and there will be a period of public consultation.
Arran Community Council discussed the move at their monthly meeting last week. Afterwards a spokesman said: ‘We believe that police on Arran are best placed to carry out parking enforcement and that the status quo should be maintained.’
The council is to take over parking enforcement including the parking bays on Brodick shorefront. 01_B40parking01