Police plans for Central parking fall on deaf ears

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 January, 2012, 12:00am

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Transport chiefs say they have no plans to introduce new measures to solve the traffic problems in Central, despite suggestions from police that using their officers to monitor parking problems is a waste of resources.

A crackdown on illegal parking in Central last month involving more than 400 officers saw a rise in the issuance of parking tickets. But a police source said this would not solve the problem in the long term.

On one day last month police also issued 302 tickets in Kowloon East for illegal parking and other parking offences.

The source believed there were better ways of tackling the issue that would leave officers free to deal with more urgent concerns.

'The erection of parking meters in Central would greatly help and make certain parking legal, which would take the pressure off,' the source said.

'The government could employ more traffic wardens to cover these particular areas. This job could even be delegated to the private sector and have certain companies enforcing these laws instead of traffic wardens. This happens a lot in some British cities.'

These alternatives were dismissed by the Transport Department, which maintained that the existing policy was the best way to move forward.

A department spokesman said that since traffic was generally busy in Central and many buildings did not have internal loading or unloading facilities, parking meters would 'affect traffic flow and greatly reduce the scarce spaces for the legitimate roadside loading/unloading activities, in particular those being used by public transport'.

'According to current policy, parking for all types of vehicle should preferably be provided off-street to optimise the use of limited road spaces and traffic circulation,' the spokesman said. 'Meanwhile, there are ample off-street parking spaces in Central.'

It was also confirmed there were no plans for police to outsource parking enforcement, which will remain a core duty of traffic wardens.

Police will still have their hands full as the parking crackdown continues. They identified 18 illegal-parking black spots in Central, including Ice House Street, Glenealy, Arbuthnot Road, Queen's Road Central, Wyndham Street, Pedder Street, Duddell Street and Connaught Road. Central.

A police spokesman said the crackdown on illegal parking in Central district was the culmination of publicity, education and enforcement activities.