‘Overzealous’ parking enforcement is ‘not good for Weston business’
PUBLISHED: 07:39 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:15 03 October 2017
Traffic wardens have been accused of not showing enough discretion when handing out parking tickets, and in some cases ‘enforcing rules which are no longer relevant’.
North Somerset Council took responsibility for civil parking enforcement (CPE), which involves issuing fines to anyone wrongly parked on double-yellow lines, in disabled bays, bus stops and taxi ranks, in April.
Some Weston town councillors believe a survey should have been carried out first to make changes to some of the town’s double yellow lines and loading bays.
The town council has described parking enforcement as ‘overzealous’, as in some cases tickets have reportedly been given to people parked a few centimetres onto a yellow line.
In some streets, loading bays can only be used for five minutes, and councillors said delivery drivers have been told they have to leave and come back again so as not to break the rules.
Cllr John Crockford Hawley said: “They are simply enforcing the rules, however many of those rules are not relevant to today’s circumstances.”
Cllr Anita Spencer-Johns, who introduced a town council motion to urge North Somerset to review its enforcement policies, said: “This issue is obviously not good for business in the town.”
The co-owner of Puffins Fish & Chip Restaurant said he has been forced to cancel its delivery service due to the loading bay restrictions near Regent Street and Salisbury Terrace.
Owner Dave Waterhouse tried to get around five-minute time restrictions by replacing its delivery van with a motorbike, which was parked against the building when it was spotted by a traffic warden.
Mr Waterhouse said the warden told a member of staff it was ‘OK’. The next day, it received a ticket. He appealed, and an independent solicitor said the fine could not be reversed.
But the solicitor added: “The council could have exercised discretion in those circumstances but decided not to do so.”
A council spokesman said enforcement officers are limited in how much discretion they can use, and there are no plans to change loading bay time limits.
Mr Waterhouse said parking enforcement needed to be less ‘draconian’.
Cllr Richard Nightingale said North Somerset Council will carry out a review of CPE rules.