Increasing ‘eyes and ears’ role for UK’s parking wardens

The UK’s parking wardens are increasingly becoming multi-functional community ambassadors providing the public with directions, public transport times, and serving as a reassuring presence on our streets – in addition to their role in helping to keep parking fair and safe for all, according to the biggest annual survey of civil enforcement officers, traffic attendants, and parking attendants by public sector specialist, NSL.

The majority of the 1,800 respondents also said that litter and discarded rubbish, damage to paths and roads, and fly-tipping is having the biggest negative impact on the areas in which they work. Graffiti was considered to have the least negative impact.

When asked how often they passed ‘litter traps’ on the streets, 32% said once a day, followed by 27% stating they passed litter traps more than once a day.

Shouting at others and drunken behaviour were stated, by 38% and 32% respectively, as the most frequent forms of aggressive anti-social behaviour on our streets. Fighting was cited as the least frequent, by just 2%.

Parking on pavements and parking considered dangerous, but which cannot be actioned against, was witnessed by 52% of wardens up to three times a day. 27% said they witnessed this type of parking more than three times each day.

When asked how often they came across vehicles parked in contravention of local parking regulations, but which have non-UK registration plates, 35% said it was an average of once a day, followed by 25% saying 2-5 times daily. 8% said they came across non-UK registered vehicles more than five times a day. The results are in line with a snapshot survey conducted by the Local Government Association, in August this year, showing that millions of pounds worth of unpaid parking fines have to be written off each year due to councils being unable to trace the drivers of foreign registered vehicles.

The misuse or fraudulent use of Blue Badges, meant only for named motorists with disabilities, has soared. 24% of respondents said Blue Badge misuse had increased significantly, and 29% said it has increased moderately.

Mark Hoskin, NSL’s Local Government Director, said: “Our second annual survey – the biggest of its kind – shows how much those on the frontline of parking services do in each community they work in and how unique their perspective of our streets. Like last year, the results show how hard CEOs/TAs/PAs work, and how varied their roles are, going against public perception that all they do is issue tickets.”



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Notes to Editors:


NSL is a leading UK company specialising in the delivery and management of frontline services in complex public sector and regulated environments. Our core services include business process management; enforcement; passenger and social transport; street management and technical design services. We currently have over 70 contracts with local, regional and central government, as well as with the airport and the private sector, and have delivered contracts for high-profile government agencies, such as The Royal Parks, DVLA, Transport for London and Transport Northern Ireland.