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New parking rules are putting stallholders in a dilemma

Stallholders at Walthamstow Market are fearful that they may go out of business after the local council stopped issuing parking permits for certain types of vans. Letters have been sent to those stallholders who live in Waltham Forest telling them that they can no longer park their vans near their stalls. The local council decision effects vans that are over 2.3 metres tall or 5.25 metres long.

The traders have been paying £400 each year for a voucher to park near the market and frustrated stallholders now claim no choice but to use expensive pay and display car parks or find a space on one of the few streets not yet a CPZ (Controlled Parking Zone). This is something they are all very reluctant to do because of a high rate of van break-ins. A total of fifty-eight stallholders have signed a petition and say they are more than willing to pay more for a permit in order to have somewhere to park their vans. Of the fifty-eight who signed the petition, over half have had their vans broken into. Now that they have to park even further away, they are expecting their commercial van insurance premiums to increase.

Farook Oomerjee, 46, who has run a home textiles stall with his family for 30 years, said: “It’s sheer incompetence by the council. There’s someone sitting behind a desk coming up with these ideas without having any idea how such a change can have a massive impact on us. We’re already living on the breadline and a lot of us are going to end up on the dole unless this is sorted. This is our livelihood but whenever I phone the council they don’t care. The council needs to engage with the traders to find a solution, not ignore them.”

A van is often the only vehicle owned by a trader and most now feel that it is almost impossible to find a suitably sized van which fits the council’s new requirements and the capital’s Low Emission Zone standards.

Traffic Wardens Walking the Streets of Aberystwyth Once Again

Van drivers who work in and around the Welsh town of Aberystwyth will be greeted by the return of traffic wardens in the town this coming Bank Holiday and many will be happy to welcome back officials once branded the curse of modern day motoring.

In July 2011 the town’s leaders announced that in a bid to save public funds they were making the traffic wardens working in the town centre redundant and that townspeople would in future be relied upon to park sensibly. The announcement was greeted with joy by the great majority of the townsfolk and merchants alike, however, things soon turned sour as motorists started to park without giving thought to anyone else. Merchants and delivery drivers were soon frustrated when they couldn’t access their businesses and shoppers found it almost impossible to find parking spaces in the town centre because of careless parking by others.

Commercial vehicle insurance providers were kept busy from claims submitted for minor accidents and scrapes from the locality, and things came to a head recently when the town was voted the worst place in the UK to find a parking space, with an average waiting time of 35 minutes. The council have now decided to introduce wardens back into the town centre and the sentiments of Chris McKenzie-Grieve, Chairman of Aberystwyth Chamber of Commerce, will be echoed by many, he said “Most people will welcome the fact that order is restored. You don’t realise the value of things until they’re gone .It was supposed to be a trial, but some people didn’t park sensibly and it became clear it wasn’t working. It has been chaotic, especially for people with disabilities, or delivery drivers. On balance, shoppers and the public generally will welcome the re-introduction of wardens.”

Residents are losing patience with large vehicles

The Department of Infrastructure on the Isle of Man has released results of their consultation on large vehicles parked in residential areas. The general consensus of those who took part in the survey was that all large work vans and motor homes should be parked off the road.

The Department Of Infrastructure have now vowed to try to identify appropriate parking spaces for large vehicles which are, at the moment, parking in residential areas. They plan to keep the populace updated via their website and for those with no internet access staff will be available on a phone line. The consultation also found that residents want both the government and local authorities to identify land for the purpose of parking large vehicles and push through planning permission for “change of use” status. The residents were also keen to point out they did not expect to be saddled with larger taxes when the problem was resolved.

Most respondents to the survey felt that work vans which are protected by commercial vehicle insurance should be parked at a place of work and even people who are self employed should try their best to find a designated parking space for their vehicle. Motor home owners also came in for criticism. According to the survey too many leave their vehicles parked up for long periods on the main roads and cause traffic problems, however, many motor home owners responded to the survey and said they were desperate to find off road parking but it just was not available.

Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne said: “We will be trying to identify any area which can be used for off street parking of larger vehicles and I am encouraging local authorities to do the same. We already have a few areas which could be the answer to the problem.”

Van drivers up in arms in Ilkeston

Van drivers in the East Midlands are being left confused and in some cases out of pocket by parking regulations.

It appears that signs in the car parks of East Midlands town Ilkeston, have completely baffled market traders, shop owners and delivery drivers as they have been given parking tickets even though they have paid to park in them.

John Green, a delivery driver in the town, said vans were being ticketed in Queens Street car park in September even though they had paid to park, he explained “I knew that a vans commercial vehicle insurance was different to ordinary car insurance but didn’t realise a light goods tax disc could stop you parking in a council car park.”

The story was picked up by shop owner, Danny Tyldesley, who said “I need my van for work; I can’t run my business without it. I’ve been parking it in the car park on Queens Street for ages without problem. But then I was told by other traders that vehicles with light goods tax discs had started being given tickets.”

The sign in the car parks actually reads ‘parking a vehicle not taxed as light goods vehicle’ under the heading, ‘Contraventions subject to £70/£50 charge’.

Mr Tyldesley believes the signs are misleading and said “The sign doesn’t make sense, the way its written says to me that it’s okay for light goods vehicles to park here but not other vehicles. I’m not asking for free parking, I’ve been happily paying to park here until now.”

Apparently traffic wardens are no longer giving out tickets to van drivers but the council have still to make the position clear. In the meantime light goods vehicle drivers are hoping they can pursue their businesses without the threat of fines hanging over them.

Parking problems in Cornwall

Council chiefs in Cornwall are putting their parking plans under review after locals protested about van drivers taking advantage of the system.

The problem is occurring in West Cornwall where camper van drivers are parking overnight in lay-bys and roads that have no parking restrictions. Local residents are concerned because some of the campervans are stopping there for a whole fortnight which in turn is stopping them from taking advantage of the free parking.

One area where this has become a problem is Marazion. The sea wall along the stretch of coast that overlooks the beautiful St Michaels Mount is free to park, which is unusual for sea fronts in Cornwall, however, local resident Charles Brown said “The holidaymakers stop here for a full fortnight in their campervans preventing locals from parking, its time the council started looking after local residents after all we do live here”

Councillor Sue Nicholas was aware of the problem and said “I’ve had a lot of telephone calls and emails from residents who are really concerned. But it’s a catch-22 situation, because if you resolve the problem of parking for any length of time it affects other people who call in for just an hour. And it’s not a problem if it’s just for one night, if they’ve travelled and need a rest. Campervan enthusiast Tom Longden, on holiday from Yorkshire said “I park up here every year when I come down. I have paid my road tax and am fully insured (campervans do not need commercial vehicle insurance) so why shouldn’t I park here, it’s not illegal”.

The dispute raises the possibility that a county which is already known for its high parking charges will be acquiring even more parking attendants in the near future.

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