Traders’ ire over parking on High Street

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Illegal parking on the High Street is out of control with some cars being left there for weeks on end despite local traders contacting the police.

Police Scotland came in for serious criticism at Wednesday night’s crunch High Street meeting in the lesser town hall.

Current legislation allows on-street parking for a maximum of 30 minutes in any hour with no return for two hours.

This, according to traders, is flouted regularly and is having a direct effect on their businesses.

One trader told the meeting: “I have contacted the police numerous times regarding cars parked long-term outside my shop and nothing is done.”

And another added: “Parking is a joke. It’s a complete shambles. The police appear to have washed their hands of it. It is time for the council to employ a traffic warden.”

Councillor Ron Smith said that this was an option currently being looked at.

Concerns were expressed by another long-established shop owner who added: “People are using the High Street as a private parking space and it does have a direct effect on my business.”

Former cop and Hawick and Denholm councillor Watson McAteer added: “The level of public concern being expressed about the effectiveness of Police Scotland in their management of traffic issues in the Hawick area is very concerning and not providing the reassurance businesses and townspeople are looking for.

“There is evidence that some drivers are showing a complete disregard of the parking regulations. I hope to have an early meeting with fellow councillors and the police to see what a full range of options might look
like.”

In a statement, Police Scotland said: “Police in Hawick are aware there are issues in relation to parking . . . but there are a number of demands placed on police officers and they cannot give undivided attention to this issue.

“If members of the public are aware of problems or persistent offenders I would ask them to report these through the 101 telephone number or send an email to the community officers in Hawick on HawickDenholmCPT@Scotland.pnn.police.uk or HawickHermitageCPT@Scotland.pnn.police.uk