Concerns raised over parking plans in Bourne

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PROPOSALS for parking wardens to patrol the county are not suitable for Bourne.

PROPOSALS for parking wardens to patrol the county are not suitable for Bourne.

That’s the fear of town councillors who say a “one size fits all” approach for Lincolnshire could be damaging for small towns like Bourne.

They want to help develop the proposals before responsibility for parking enforcement is transferred from police next year.

Bourne Town Council formed a working party to discuss Lincolnshire County Council’s draft parking policy and members presented their report to the highways and planning committee at Bourne Corn Exchange on Tuesday.

Chairman of the working party Coun Philip Knowles said: “We do not believe that one policy administered from Lincoln is suitable to meet the needs of Bourne.”

The policy covers on-street parking, currently enforced by police, and off-street parking, which is the district council’s responsibility.

Lincolnshire County Council is planning to employ a contractor to hand out parking tickets when people flout restrictions.

Bourne’s district council car parks offer unlimited free parking, however, there are time restrictions on some on-street parking.

Coun Knowles said: “It would only be rarely that anyone would get round to coming to Bourne and this wouldn’t be flexible enough for Bourne.”

Coun Knowles said more powers like this should be handed down to town councils. He suggested Bourne Town Council could look at taking on responsibility for parking in the future.

Other members of the working party included councillors Paul Fellows, Roy McKinney, Jane Kingman and Helen Powell.

Coun Kingman said it was important people were still encouraged to come to Bourne to shop and they should be allowed to park for free without worrying about parking tickets.

She said: “I think overall the draft policy is a sensible document, but you can’t use the DNA of one large city for plans and then implement these in market towns too. It needs some amendments.”

The town council is submitting the working party’s report as its response to the county council’s consultation.

In it the council says it supports the principle of parking enforcement but questions whether the council would be more effective than police. It also suggests a contractor would have financial targets to meet and local enforcement would be preferable.

The county council is still considering how it will pay for the parking enforcement scheme. The council is looking at fines and cost-cutting to claw back a projected £1.2m deficit.

The consultation is open until September 30. The document is available online at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/parkingpolicy.