An army of traffic wardens will be taking to the streets from April to crack down on drivers who flout parking restrictions.
Strathclyde Police withdrew traffic wardens from East Dunbartonshire in 2011, with police officers responsible for parking enforcement in the meantime.
But as of April 2, the council will take on the responsibility, with community wardens responsible for issuing penalty charge notices for violation of parking restrictions in town centres and other ‘hotspots’.
Drivers who flout parking restrictions, including parking in disabled bays, face a fine of £60 - reduced to £30 if paid within a fortnight.
The same wardens will also tackle community safety and environmental issues, such as dog fouling, littering, smoking control, operating the anti-social behaviour night noise service and supporting youth diversionary activities.
The cost of the scheme will be funded by parking charges but it is expected that there wil be a shortfall which will be dealt with by introducing town centre parking charges.
It is planned to charge for parking in council-owned off-street spaces from April 2015, with detailed proposals for charges to be developed by the council over the next year.
A series of awareness events will be held in the coming weeks - before the new system in introduced - with details to be announced by the council soon. Councillor Alan Moir, convener of the council’s development and infrastructure committee, stressed that the emphasis would be on sustaining town centres and improving safety - NOT making money.
He said: “Traffic wardens were withdrawn by the police in 2011 and have been missed in our town centres.
“Police officers have done their best to address parking issues in the meantime, but it is simply unsustainable to allow the situation to continue.
“The council will be taking on the enforcement of existing parking controls previously enforced by traffic wardens.
“We believe - and consultation indicates the public agree - that parking control is essential to manage our road network, maintain safety for all road users and support the economic vitality of our town centres.
“The council was required to show the Scottish Government that the scheme will become self-financing. Parking management and education encourages turnover and supports our town centres.
“Anyone who visits our town centres will know that parking is a problem, with less considerate drivers parking on pavements, in disabled spaces and on yellow lines.
“For everyone’s safety and convenience we need to be in a position to be able to address these issues.”
Councillor Moir added: “As well as town centres, DPE gives the council the opportunity in future to focus on other hotspots - including schools and railway stations.”