PARKING wardens will be back on patrol in the Vale from April 1 - with the power to fine problem parkers £70.

Five new Civil Enforcement Officers, wearing black and blue uniforms, will be on the streets seven days a week including bank holidays; and the council is to launch a “Park It!” campaign to encourage drivers to park responsibly.

Civil Parking Enforcement brings the issue under local authority control, rather than that of the police.

Cllr Rob Curtis, Cabinet member for the environment and visible services, with special responsibility for traffic management, said: “Most drivers are considerate and use designated parking spots.

“But there are some who think they can park wherever they like, without any consideration to other road users, pedestrians or traders. These are the people our officers will be specifically targeting during our Park It! campaign.”

Andrew Loosemore, operational manager for highways and engineering for the Vale council said: “Our Civil Enforcement Officers will be issued with handheld computers with inbuilt cameras, so they can print tickets, ensure data is logged on our system and take photos of the offending vehicles and of the ticket fixed to the windscreen."

There are two levels of penalty charges depending on the severity of the parking contravention. The higher band is £70 (reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days); and the lower band is £50 (reduced to £25 if paid within 14 days).

In cases of late payment, the penalty charge increases to £105 (higher band) and £75 (lower band). This may be more if the council has to pursue the debt through the use of bailiffs.