Cheltenham's car parks could see private enforcement, council bosses say
PARKING across Cheltenham could be placed in the hands of a private company.
On-street parking is being handed over from Cheltenham Borough Council to Gloucestershire County Council on April 1.
Shire Hall bosses have already said they will bring in a private firm to enforce the parking regulations.
And borough council chiefs have been given the option of using the same company for its car parks.
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But the county has insisted it will not mean motorists parking for too long will be clamped.
It comes as council officers warned of the substantial risk of confusion to members of the public when the on-street parking enforcement changes hands.
Fines and tickets currently have to be dealt with by the borough – but in the future any tickets issued to cars parked on the town's streets will be the responsibility of the county council.
The borough council is likely to keep using its own traffic wardens at its car parks while a review of the county's arrangements is carried out in the next 15 months.
Mike Redman, director of built environment at the borough council, said: "From 1 April 2013, Apcoa Parking (UK) Ltd will be managing all on-street parking enforcement in Cheltenham, on behalf of the county council. We will continue to manage enforcement within our car parks.
"To ensure a smooth transition, we are working with the county to provide residents, businesses and visitors with all the necessary information so that they know who to contact with any enquiries in relation to on street parking enforcement and Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)."
He said the council would looking at the possibility of opting in to the contract in the future. "Cheltenham Borough Council can opt into the county's contract for off-street enforcement at any time within the next four years, should it choose to do so," he added.
"A robust evaluation of options will be carried out later this year. In the meantime, CBC will be working with GCC and its new contractor to ensure that the transition of the on-street service runs smoothly."
A spokesman for Gloucestershire County Council said: "The county council has not and will not clamp cars under any circumstances.
"We are working with the borough council to ensure that residents and visitors are fully informed of who to contact with any on-street and off-street parking enquiries."