More than 2,000 ‘fake’ parking tickets have been issued across Caerphilly county borough ahead of the local authority’s takeover of civil parking enforcement.
Warnings have been given to drivers found to be illegally parked before April 8, when enforcement powers are passed from Gwent Police to local authorities.
Caerphilly Council’s “quirky” awareness campaign also includes a tongue-in-cheek music video which parodies the Coldplay song ‘Yellow’.
Fines will be dished out for unlawful parking on double yellow lines and in prohibited areas like schools, bus stops and no waiting areas.
Up to ten full-time equivalent parking officers will be covering the borough at any one time, a meeting of the Blackwood Town Centre Management Group heard on April 2.
Dean Smith, Caerphilly council’s principal engineer, said: “There will be a high-level presence in Blackwood, and they’ll be making a real nuisance of themselves.
“We’ll have an officer deployed at a school every morning and afternoon.
“I think it’s going to go down well with parents, and [the fake tickets] have been well received so far.”
Deputy council leader Sean Morgan added that an increased enforcement presence would help combat “blatantly aggressively parking” in the town.
This was welcomed by Blackwood councillor Kevin Etheridge, who described the town as a “car parking lot”.
Traders told the meeting that it will help the town, claiming customers who had received a fake ticket had reacted positively.
Cllr Morgan added: “We understand there’s a need for people to park for two to three hours, and there are those who stop and shop.
“I think it’s going to be a benefit. We need six to 12 months to settle in and listen to businesses to see how we can tweak things.”
Steve Pugh, the council’s communications manager, said the council was “working hard” to ensure as many people as possible were aware of the changeover.
He added that the music video, created by the communications team, had amassed nearly 40,000 views on social media.