Locals blamed for parking problems in Linlithgow High Street

Police have said a parking problem in Linlithgow which has seen officers issue at least 30 parking tickets to drivers parking on zigzag lines in the High Street is caused by locals unwilling to pay to park.

By Stuart Sommerville, LDR
Monday, 7th March 2022, 5:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 8:20 am

Despite those getting a ticket facing a £100 fine and three points on their licence, it was suggested officers could have handed out double the number of tickets.

Community Sergeant Iain Wells told a meeting of the town’s Local Area Committee: “There is parking provision in the town. The locals don’t want to pay for it.”

Sgt Wells said that roads policing officers were regularly in the High Street handing out tickets He was responding to committee chair, Councillor Tom Conn, who complained that he had received a “sanitised” letter from community officers regarding parking issues in the town when he had asked for more visible policing presence and enforcement.

Linlithgow High Street. Photo by Michael Gillen.

He told the meeting that there were parking problems in the High Street “because there’s no deterrence”.

Cllr Conn suggested the Police Scotland response was to suggest the council adopt decriminalised parking enforcement to allow the council to control parking, and the police to walk away.

Sgt Wells said that his roads policing colleagues “had conservatively” handed out 30 parking tickets recently. “That’s mainly for the zigzags near to Taste and Boots, so that’s an expensive coffee, £100 fine and three points on your licence,” he added.

The officer said police regularly put messages out over social media as well as in local media concerning illegal and inconsiderate parking in the High Street.

Cllr Conn accepted that locals were the culprits and that a large number of tickets had been issued “but the message is not getting through”.

Sgt Wells added that he had walked through the Vennel car park which is pay and display on three different days the week before. While other parking areas in the town were full there were around 70 spaces in the Vennel on each occasion.

“There’s adequate parking – the locals just don’t want to pay for it. We all know that,” he added.

He assured Cllr Conn that, compared with other towns, Linlithgow had received a lot of attention from roads policing officers recently.

Driving through the High Street is difficult at most times of the day not only because of the volume of traffic but because of dozens of cars parked inconsiderately, blocking sight lines or too close to junctions.

Parking on pavements is set to become illegal in Scotland next year and the council has already been asked for its views ahead of the law coming onto the Holyrood statute books.

The council’s own roads and transport managers have pointed out that responsibility for policing the new rules will fall to each council. West Lothian is one of a few councils that does not operate decriminalised parking enforcement- where parking management is adopted by the local authority either employing its own wardens or contracting to private firms, rather than the police.

Police can only issue tickets in areas which are controlled by Traffic Regulation Orders such as zigzag lines. They cannot issue tickets for inconsiderate parking.