TRAFFIC WARDENS are to return to Wokingham borough from tomorrow as lockdown restrictions start to ease.
But in the short-term they won’t be issuing fines to parkers who outstay their welcome, instead they’ll be giving out warnings.
Country parks have reported a steady demand this week, often having to close some car parks due to demand from families looking to take some exercise in the great outdoors. By introducing some soft enforcement, it will help with the pressures facing the car parks.
And the wardens – officially known as civil parking enforcement officers – will also be checking town centre car parks to prevent people from using them all day.
Wokingham Borough Council had suspended enforcement of car parking regulations, except in exceptional circumstances, when the lockdown began.
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for transport and highways, said: “It was the right thing to suspend enforcement but it could only have been a temporary measure because enforcement of parking regulations is necessary to ensure roads are kept clear and safe.
“There is a financial element to this: running services, such as car parks and country parks, costs money and dealing with Covid-19 has been incredibly expensive for the council.
“The financial support from the Government, while welcome, will not come close to covering what we are spending.”
She continued: “We have to reintroduce full enforcement. But we will do so in a measured way, with plenty of signage and publicity, and a soft enforcement initially so that nobody is caught unawares.”
Wokingham Borough Council says that clear signage will be put up at car parks to make sure people are aware of parking charges and enforcement.