Traffic wardens receive warm return to Midlothian

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Traffic wardens are being shaken by the hand after returning to Midlothian for the first time in four years, according to the council leader.

The local authority introduced private parking attendants earlier this year after it was  granted permission to decriminalise parking.

Councillor Derek Milligan (Lab), council leader, said their arrival on the streets had brought an unexpected reaction from people.

He said: “I do not think I have ever seen traffic wardens coming into an area and being so warmly welcomed and shaken by the hand.”

Mr Milligan made the comments at a meeting of Midlothian Council’s Cabinet last Tuesday when performance reports were being presented on the local authority services.

He asked John Blair, director of resources, how the new wardens were being received and whether they were having an impact.

Mr Blair told cabinet that they were already ahead of their financial target when it came to collecting fines.

He added: “It has generally been welcomed through the county. More importantly, people are safer. Walking around Dalkeith town centre at lunch time,  more than in any other county town, you feel safer.

“It was always a worry of mine that something may happen because of some of the absolutely shocking indiscriminate parking so I think it is to be welcomed. It keeps Midlothian moving.”

The new wardens took to the streets in April after the local authority applied to the Scottish Government for permission to decriminalise parking.

Police Scotland scrapped its funded traffic wardens in February 2014.

Parking fines are set at £60 but a reduction of 50 per cent applies if paid within 30 days.