Lonely Planet Writer

Danish traffic wardens to act as tour guides for visitors

Denmark is recasting the role of traffic wardens from public enemy No 1 to a first line of friendly faces for visitors to its capital, Copenhagen.

The Danish flag.
The Danish flag. Image by Jacob Bøtter / CC BY 2.0

The new breed of warden has undergone retraining to become as adept with their iPads as they traditionally have been with their tickets writing out fines for motorists parking in the wrong areas of the city.

The uniformed municipal workers also have ‘ask me’ displayed on them for tourists who can then tap into their street and local knowledge of the areas in the city.

The BBC quotes a Copenhagen Post report that reveals  11 wardens have been selected to take part in this new groundbreaking trial.

The city fathers want them to become a mobile tourist information centre and have directed them to offer advice on a range of subjects – whether that is directing lost visitors or highlighting the city major attractions.

According to the council’s representative, Thomas Jakobsen, the trial will go on through the summer until August and if it proves itself in terms of popularity, it looks set to be extended next year.

The officials are also of the view that the new role will enhance the wardens’ public image.

The council’s parking department spokesman, Jes Oksnebjerg, said the trial offered the opportunity for a better type of citizen contact if the workers have a positive approach.

However it was also made clear that part of the traffic wardens’ responsibilities would be to continue to hand out fines as well.