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Council take control in crackdown on illegal parking

The council have now taken control of enforcing some parking rules. Photo: ITV News

For years drivers in North Somerset have been able to park illegally without the fear of finding a parking ticket and the subsequent fine.

Today, wardens have returned to the streets of Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon and Portishead.

The council has now taken over enforcement of double yellow lines and disabled bays from the police.

Enforcers writing a ticket. Credit: ITV News

The council is hoping a clampdown will free up spaces for people who genuinely need them.

One wheelchair user said, "sometimes when you go into places like supermarkets, and people have parked in there, if you do go and tackle them, they can be quite abusive."

The wardens here have spent the last two weeks handing out warning notices to people parked illegally across North Somerset.

Warning notices are enclosed in blue envelopes. Credit: ITV News

One taxi driver was caught on double yellow line. He says he was just popping into his office.

He told our reporter, "I understand that they have to do their job but we've got to do a job as well."

"Say for instance, we get an issue and then we've got to run into the office. Then if we leave our car, then we could be liable then for a fine. Where does that happy medium come?"

The taxi was parked on double yellow lines. Credit: ITV News

In the last two weeks, the enforcement team has handed out more than a thousand warning notices.

If the equivalent number of £70 fines are given out, it could generate up to £70,000 for the council in just a fortnight.

It's a fact which has angered one local businessman.

He said, "I just think the council are being extremely unreasonable and I think it's yet another money making scheme by the council to generate more funds which they should be doing elsewhere."

Allan Taylor, Parking Services Manager, North Somerset Council. Credit: ITV News

Allan Taylor, Parking Services Manager for North Somerset Council, said "Invariably, we will be giving out more fines but I think very quickly the public will change their behaviour."

"Very shortly we will have places available for loading bays, for lorry drivers, for people to unload, disabled bays for disabled people and no parking where it could be dangerous or hold up traffic."

In the first few hours of the new enforcement rules, the team has issued 50 £70 fines. The council says it's a small price to pay for keeping these roads clear.

Watch Eli-Louise Wringe's full report here: