DOZENS of motorists were warned about breaching parking rules in the first days after responsibility changed hands.
Malvern Hills District Council took control of street parking restrictions last Tuesday (November 12) and within three days had issued nearly 40 warnings, rising to 64 after the first week.
There is a two-week warning period currently in place before the team begins fining motorists – but if they had issued tickets, ranging from £50 to £70 depending on the severity of the case, it would have seen more than £3,000 generated in fines.
The parking restrictions have long been in place in the town however previously they were under the jurisdiction of the police and generally unenforced.
The introduction of civil enforcement already appears to be benefiting traders in Malvern due to more spaces being freed up by drivers sticking to the time limits and moving on.
Chris Marks, who runs Iapetus on Belle Vue Terrace and is head of Great Malvern Association of Traders, said: “I have spoken to many traders and generally it is seen as a very positive thing.
“There are noticeably more spaces around the town.
“As a trade association we have been looking at this for a number of years and it’s nice that when it eventually does happen it works exactly how you think it would.
“We have had customers this week who said they were driving past, saw a free space and popped in and bought something.
“That’s money we wouldn’t have had without civil enforcement.”
Mr Marks added the next step was achieving consistent hourly restrictions across the area which would remove limits as low as 15 minutes in places.
Gordon Morris, street scene team manager, said: “In recent weeks our team have been talking to local residents and traders ahead of the changes and issuing warning notices since taking over the responsibility of enforcing on-street parking restrictions.
“We would like to remind local people to park correctly by checking local parking restrictions, to prevent receiving unnecessary warning notices.”
Coun Bronwen Behan, responsible for environmental control, added: “We have had a positive response about the on-street civil parking enforcement from local traders across the district.
“A number of traders have already seen a significant increase in passing trade due to the freeing up of car parking spaces outside their business.
“The enforcement of on-street parking restrictions across the district ensures it is safer for everyone and we also hope that the change will help more local businesses to benefit from an increase in passing trade, enabled by making sure the local parking restrictions are adhered to.”