Glasgow is to toughen its approach to parking enforcement to stop drivers abusing restrictions intended to ensure the city's roads operate safely and efficiently.
The new approach will halve the time parking attendants are required to observe a vehicle breaching certain restrictions before a penalty charge notice can be issued while also increasing fines for contraventions of parking rules. Drivers breaching parking rules for yellow lines, paid-for parking bays and School Streets Zones will now also face £100 fines, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
In a report to the council's Environment and Liveable Neighbourhoods City Policy Development Committee, it is found that some drivers are 'quite happy' to pay the current reduced £30 rate for penalty charge notices as it is more convenient for them. Parking fines have remained at £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days for the past 22 years and it is felt that current rates no longer deter some drivers from parking unlawfully. The Scottish Government has agreed to the increase in fines.
Drivers are also reported to be taking advantage of the ten-minute observation period that parking attendants must undertake for certain restrictions such as vehicles stopped on yellow lines where loading is allowed. Either drivers are parking on the yellow lines so they can quickly go to a shop or waiting until just before the ten-minute observation period is over before beginning to load or unload their vehicle. To combat this kind of driver behaviour, the observation period will now be reduced to five minutes only for vehicles parked on yellow lines where loading is allowed.
The ten-minute observation period for unauthorised vehicles parked within a School Streets Zone will also be removed altogether. Anyone parked without a permit in a restricted zone at the start and end of the school day will be liable for an immediate fine. On-street parking bays will continue to be subject of no grace period for purchasing parking time or driving on when parking time has expired.
Councillor Angus Millar, City Convener for Transport, believes the new approach to enforcement is needed to ensure compliance with rules intended to minimise congestion and keep all road users as safe as possible.
Councillor Millar said: "Illegal parking is a concern in communities across Glasgow, and parking enforcement is crucial for achieving compliance with parking restrictions. These restrictions are designed around road safety, easing congestion and sharing out limited road space as fairly as possible for those seeking to park their vehicle.
"But unfortunately many drivers seek to bend or ignore the rules, impacting on other vehicles by making it more difficult to navigate streets or find a parking space, and crucially creating unnecessary risks for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.
"By tightening up on how we enforce the city's parking restrictions we will be helping to make Glasgow's road network safer for all road users but also more efficient for those who use a vehicle to get about the city. The rise in penalty charge notice parking fines for the first time in over two decades will help deter the perverse incentive that too often exists to park illegally in our city's streets."
The paper also highlighted that seventeen new parking schemes are currently under development in Glasgow, which will add to the 22 parking zones already in operation in the city.
Work on schemes for Broomhill and Thornwood, Kirklee, Barras South and St Vincent St/Argyle St/Dumbarton Rd is due to begin in May this year with the process to establish parking zones for Dennistoun-Royston and Hutchesontown expected to get underway later this summer.