THERE will be no traffic wardens operating in Moray by November.
The shortage has come during a nation-wide review of parking enforcement by Police Scotland that recommends the removal of the service.
Some of the eight former forces had stopped providing a traffic warden service before the creation of the single police service, with local authorities taking on responsibility in certain areas.
A spokeswoman for the north command area of Police Scotland said consultations with local authorities and staff were ongoing, and two Moray wardens had recently left the service.
She added: "There is one traffic warden at the moment and they will be leaving at the end of October.
"Police Scotland made a report to the council and they will have to make a decision on how they manage the situation."
Councillor Douglas Ross, chairman of Moray Council’s police and fire and rescue committee, said: "This was a change that was going to happen next year, but because of wardens taking early retirement or redundancy, the situation has come sooner for people in Moray."
"There will be a period of uncertainty and no traffic warden cover.
"In the meantime I would ask motorists to maintain sensitivity when parking."
He added a meeting would be held before the end of the month with the police, council officers and elected members.
Parking offences were discriminated in 1997 when the Road Traffic Act 1991 commenced in Scotland.
The change in legislation meant that in most cases, police powers were no longer required to enforce parking legislation.
However certain offences, including dangerous parking, still constitute a criminal act and will be enforced by officers.
Graham Leadbitter, SNP councillor for Elgin South who is also a member of the police and fire committee, said the council would be looking into the issue.
He added: "Parking management is something that is dealt in different ways in different parts of Scotland.
"The move to the single police force has highlighted these differences and we will have to consider carefully the issues."
A spokesman for the council said the local authority had been contacted as part of a national consultation on the future of the traffic warden service, and reports would be submitted to the next economic development and infrastructure services committee as well as the police and fire committee.