21st May 2018
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New traffic warden due out on Lerwick’s streets soon

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A new traffic warden has been appointed to patrol the streets of Lerwick in a bid to address parking problems in the town.

The ex-policeman of 30 years’ service has not yet been named, but news of his appointment was announced at last night’s meeting of the town’s community council.

Police sergeant Bruce Gray said the new recruit, who will double-up as a police station caretaker, was “settling into things” since starting late last year. He is undergoing training and will soon be primed to carry out enforcement and education of parking and traffic issues.

“We’re getting him sorted out and as soon as we can [we’ll] have him out and about.”

The appointment will help address perceived parking problems in the town that have been ongoing since the last traffic warden, Angus Meudell, left his post in 2010 after only a few months in the job. He himself was appointed to the role after complaints were received about traffic conditions following a lengthy spell without any warden at all.

In a letter to the community council’s clerk, Katrina Semple, Sgt Gray said many motorists believed signage which pointed to parking restrictions was inadequate.

“I appreciate many motorists are frustrated by parking issues and we have previously held enforcement days where numerous offenders have been issued with fixed penalty notices for contraventions of parking and driving legislation.

“What I would point out is that many of those issued with fixed penalty notices complained at having been issued with fines when they believe signage is poor, many of the restrictions are difficult to understand and the issue of road markings, which detail restrictions, being barely visible on the carriageway.

“I do not believe there is any quick fix to the issue of inconsiderate parking in the town centre. I feel it must be a balance of education, enforcement and looking at an appropriate system of traffic management.

“The police, like all other public sectors, are facing unprecedented financial challenges now, and in the future. As such we must make best use of those resources available to us.

“Whereas parking problems can be a great annoyance to the general public, we have to balance these issues against the investigation of many other crimes and offences, which can include such high priority matters as child protection and drug enforcement, along with many other requirements for police deployment.”

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About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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