Dear Reader

It’s never right to shoot the messenger for the message, and no-one can condone the assaults on traffic wardens (ie Civil Enforcement Officers, the new terminology that makes them sound like something from The Terminator).

They perform a thankless role when they are simply carrying out council policy.

It’s the wider strategy that is at fault. In simple terms, it’s a vicious policy. It crushes business trade, reduces casual shopping and curtails retail browsing. We have called for a wiser, less money-sucking enforcement code, which

currently is not helpful to shops and restaurants. If we want a town full of charity outlets with reduced rates and staffing costs, the current parking policy is on target.

There is no sadder sight than the early morning arrival of traffic wardens or the evening patrols that can leave diners with a bigger bill in fines than their meals out.

Fines are imposed even if a driver is not taking up parking space anyone else needs; that is why drivers on half-empty stretches of streets get ticketed – even on a very late Saturday afternoon. The parking policy has nothing to do with traffic management. That’s the policy that needs attention, not attacking the officers.

> Ed Asquith

> Editor

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