Parking blitz planned for Braintree

TRANSPORT chiefs could give the go ahead to a new blitz on illegally parked cars next week which could raise more than £200,000.Braintree District Council's executive will debate on Mondaya recommendation to transfer responsibility for cracking down on wayward motorists from the police's traffic wardens to its own employees.

TRANSPORT chiefs could give the go ahead to a new blitz on illegally parked cars next week which could raise more than £200,000.

Braintree District Council's executive will debate on Mondaya recommendation to transfer responsibility for cracking down on wayward motorists from the police's traffic wardens to its own employees.

Estimates for the new decriminalised parking suggest the council could make at least £70,000 profit a year.

At the moment, Braintree district's on street parking on yellow lines is enforced by four police controlled traffic wardens with residents-only bays patrolled by council staff.


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But Essex Police are no longer replacing their staff when they decide to move on or retire, so Essex County Council has decreed all districts and boroughs take over responsibility themselves or use private contractors instead.

A similar scheme in Colchester has seen nearly 15,000 tickets issued in just 11 months of operation, which has prompted complaints that the clampdown is just a money-spinning operation.

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To pre-empt letters from angry motorists in Braintree, the council would help run a public relations exercise to show how the new system would improve traffic flow and decrease congestion.

The idea has won the backing of businesses in the area.

Brian Cutmore, chairman of Braintree Business Council, said his members voted unanimously in favour of the district running it themselves as opposed to using private contractors.

He said: "We also think the attendants' role should also be expanded so that they can become the eyes and ears for the council, reporting back on any litter or rubbish piling up as well as incidents of vandalism.

"In that sense, as town centre wardens it would be money well spent."

In the proposal, the council would employ a team of eight parking attendants in the district each earning around £16,000 a year.

According to the financial model, the eight will be expected to enforce rules far more rigorously and issue more than 7,000 tickets each year.

Motorists will face a charge of £60, although this will be reduced to £30 if tickets are paid within a week. Money raised from the scheme would be expected to be ploughed back into off-street car parks in the district and also community transport initiatives.

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