Parking meeting stalls amid consultation fears

A bid by Future Hawick, the town’s regeneration body, to open talks with Scottish Borders Council over the abuse of parking regulations has been met with a firm rebuff.

It had been hoped to send a delegation, including several local traders, to meet with the council’s traffic management working group, but, the Hawick News has been told by the local authority that the group is “not currently active”.

The council also revealed that the traffic management group had made its initial recommendations to the admin policy working group. It would not, however, reveal what these were.

Future Hawick chairman Derick Tait is furious and is sceptical as to whether or not any local businesses had been consulted.

He said: “I don’t know what, if any, consultation the working group held with our High Street traders, but those I spoke to certainly never mentioned any contact.

“As far as recommendations to the admin policy working group are concerned, it would be nice to know what they were, and would it not be possible for that group to give us the courtesy of a submission before acting on any recommendations?”

The local regeneration group’s bid for action was prompted by what it claims are the constant reports it receives of extended parking, all-day parking, parking on double yellow lines and zigzags, blocking lanes and double parking.

Mr Tait continued: “Like business rates, High Street parking is an issue that tends to be raised at every public meeting, and there are very few days that I can walk the length of the High Street without a trader pointing out an abuse of parking regulations taking place.

“Police Scotland are doing their best, but their resources are limited.

“Over and over, we hear the cry ‘what are we going to do about the High Street?’, but many of those doing the shouting are the same people who then proceed to abuse the parking rules.

“Our traders have a difficult enough time trying to keep our High Street vibrant, and they need the support of the whole community in this respect. Parking rules are there for a reason, and they need to be observed.”

A council spokesperson said: “The working group looking at traffic management issues following the withdrawal of Police Scotland’s traffic warden service has made its initial recommendations to the council’s corporate management team and admin policy working group and is no longer meeting.”

“While the council is always open to discussing issues with local groups like Future Hawick, the parking working group is not currently active, so in this instance a meeting would not be able to happen.”

Mr Tait has now written to council chief executive Tracey Logan to request that the Hawick delegation is given the opportunity to make a submission to the admin policy group.