Liverpool ‘urgently’ needs more traffic wardens to stop the ‘free for all’ attitude to parking that’s endemic in some parts of the city, according to a comprehensive report.
It’s one of many findings compiled by Liverpool council’s parking task and finish group, which also revealed the city must act to clear its disabled bay backlog and says the current parking situation is damaging people’s health
The report, which will go before members of the neighbourhoods select committee next week, said changes are required to “urgently tackle the abuse of current parking regulations in many areas” including school gates and district centres.
Amending the current parking provision across the city would better support the council’s commitment to the climate emergency and “help a modal shift from private car use”, it said. The group that compiled the report was established in March in response to “regularly expressed concerns regarding parking issues negatively affecting residents and neighbourhoods”.
It established that a lack of parking enforcement “is causing congestion, dangerous conditions for pedestrians, especially vulnerable ones, cyclists, bus users, and other drivers.”
The report added: “Members believe a ‘free for all’ attitude has become endemic in some areas with drivers using bus stops, yellow lines and pavements as parking places for their private vehicles, exacerbating existing inequalities for users of public transport and active travellers.”
It was said the council currently has 20 vacant posts in enforcement, with cabinet member Dan Barrington stating he would want to recruit an additional 50 staff. The high number of complaints is “having a detrimental effect on residents’ quality of life” according to the report.
As a result, it is recommended that the council “recruit more parking services staff urgently, especially Civil Enforcement Officers” and “ensure enforcement continues to be data-led and responsive to actual reporting of problems.” The report also identified how delays in assessing and providing Disabled Residents Parking Bays (DRPBs) has led to serious difficulty for many people.
Evidence provided to the panel showed a “worrying complexity” of the DRPB process and an emphasis on blaming other departments instead of pragmatic and constructive delivery of service. The five member panel said they were “disappointed and also surprised” at how delays were exacerbated by the poor quality of reports by consultants tasked with writing traffic regulation orders (TROs) to allow the schemes to go ahead.
The report said: “Members feel there is a lack of senior management support for Parking Services apparent in this situation – with no manager at executive director level seeming to take responsibility.” A need to update the controlled parking zone (CPZ) has also been highlighted, as the report said: “Change is clearly and urgently needed.”
It added: “The CPZ has changed little for over 20 years yet our city centre, the night-time economy and shopping habits have changed massively. The CPZ still ends at 6pm and yet most shops are now open until 8pm, in Liverpool One and beyond, and have done so for over a decade.”
The parking situation has become so bad, “it is damaging business” according to the panel of councillors. The report concluded: “Urgent action is required as the current lack of investment in this service is having a negative impact on the city’s carbon reduction commitments and on residents’ quality of life.”
Councillors will debate the report’s findings when they meet at Liverpool Town Hall next week.