Why traffic wardens are still out on the streets in Northampton town centre

'It is vital we maintain traffic flow and focus on safety and access for emergency and essential services'

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 2:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 2:44 pm

County Council chiefs have hit back at criticisms over keeping traffic wardens out on Northamptonshire streets during the coronavirus lockdown.

On-street pay and display charges have been stopped and many parking restrictions lifted since Prime Minster Boris Johnson ordered the nation to stay at home last week.

Social media users have piled in asking if traffic wardens should be classed as "key workers" under the new laws.

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Traffic wardens will carry on dealing with parking issues during the lockdown

But Cllr Jason Smithers, Northamptonshire's cabinet member for environment and place, said: “Our enforcement teams are focusing on parking issues that cause obstruction or safety concerns. This is to support key workers while they go about their essential duties.

“Officers have an important role to play during the current situation, they help to maintain road safety and ensure access to goods and services.

“Motorists are reminded that they should not park dangerously or cause an obstruction including blocking a dropped kerb, on zig-zags at crossings, in loading restrictions and on yellow lines protecting junctions.

"It is vital that we maintain traffic flow and focus on safety and access for emergency and essential services.”

Many parking restrictions have already been lifted or eased

The County Council are issuing key workers and those who are helping our elderly and vulnerable with dashboard notices to identify their vehicles while traffic wardens are following social distancing restrictions while on the streets.

Service provider NSL carries out enforcement for the County Council across Northamptonshire, except in Kettering which is looked after by the local borough council.

Cllr Smithers added: "With more people now at home across the county, there are more vehicles parked in residential areas.

"This will bring its challenges with people parking dangerously, and where this is the case, parking attendants will try to locate the owner of the vehicle and request they park safely in an alternative location.

"As with normal service, parking attendants will give advice and information to people where necessary to help them find a safe place to park, and will only be issuing a Penalty Charge Notice when it is absolutely necessary."

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