Beware of new parking rules

DRIVERS are being warned they face tougher penalties if they park illegally on Boston’s streets.

Boston Borough Council is just one step away from approving plans to clamp down on motorists who flout the rules of the road, after its cabinet agreed with recommendations to let Lincolnshire County Council take over parking enforcement.

Councillors said the plans will put an end to the ‘honeymoon period’ for ‘delinquent parking’, which they say has become common since police gave up responsibility for on-street parking. The relaxed attitude has also been put down to a lack of local authority resources.

The recommendations will now go to full council, and if they are approved it will see motorists facing fines if they break the rules, whether parking on the road or in one of the borough’s five on-street car parks.

It is hoped that the new arrangements will come into place next autumn, if all district councils approve the plans and an application to the Department for Transport is accepted.

The new scheme, which will see the county council receiving the income from on-street parking fines, could mean the borough council saves around £5,000 and the authority is hoping that tougher enforcement will make people use council-owned car parks, bringing more money in.

It will, however, involve the council laying out around £13,000 a year – £70,750 over a fixed five year term.

Lincolnshire County Council will pay £800,000 to change the system and half the annual operating costs – around £175,000.

Boston Borough Council will retain responsibility for off-street parking in car parks in the area and will continue to keep the revenue, which amounts to around £215,000 a year.

At a meeting of the cabinet last Tuesday, Coun Mike Gilbert said that after five or six years of tolerance towards illegal parking, people should not be surprised by the new, stricter regime.

Following the meeting Coun Derek Richmond, portfolio holder for car parks, said: “We are making this announcement now so that motorists have the best part of a year to get used to the idea that stricter car parking enforcement will be coming to Boston.”