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'Overzealous' traffic warden regime angers Crewkerne traders

By Western Gazette - Crewkerne  |  Posted: July 05, 2012

Traders

TRADERS’ CONCERN: Town centre workers Louis Hockey, Adam Loder and Sammy Jo Medhurst

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Angry traders and residents say a traffic warden flouted parking rules while ticketing motorists.

Businesses in Crewkerne have criticised a new parking enforcement regime, branding it overzealous and claiming it has harmed trade.

And last week they were infuriated when one of the new parking officers apparently broke the rules – overstaying a time limit and taking up two bays with one car.

Resident Julia Henry said: “One morning last week, the guy parked outside the coffee shop in Crewkerne for over an hour. When I asked him about it he said he had special rights.

“It’s total hypocrisy. He has probably collected hundreds of pounds in fines from the people of the town.

“These traffic enforcement officers seem to be really hampering businesses.

“This traffic warden was ticketing someone parked in a 30-minute bay and his own car was there for an hour and took up two spaces, obstructing trade. It’s not helping businesses.”

Adam Loder who owns Number 5 the deli and Number 7 the cafe in Crewkerne said: “The parking enforcement officer came and took up two parking spaces right outside my business for upwards of 60 minutes while he scoured the town for other parking infringements.

“Parking enforcement is an easy way for the council to raise money given current economic constraints, but making life more difficult for people in hard times does not help at all. “All they are doing is driving shoppers out of town. In no way does it encourage people to come to Crewkerne or any small town, which is what they are also trying to do.”

Steve Smith, owner of Dailys, said: “You do need parking wardens to keep things moving on, but I have customers who have told me they have been slapped with a fine for overstaying by five minutes.

“I think a happy medium needs to be found so people have a reasonable amount of time for free.”

Somerset County Council took over responsibility for parking enforcement from the police in June.

A spokesman said: “Vehicles used by parking wardens and some other council officers who require their vehicles to carry out their duties are exempt from most parking restrictions. They are required to park at all times with consideration.

“Devices used by our parking wardens to issue fixed penalty notices will not allow a ticket to be printed until the statutory observation period has been completed.

“We must point out, however, that for some more serious contraventions there is no observation period required.

“The council is always willing to consider requests from the community to introduce or review on-street parking restrictions.”

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  • Charlespk  |  July 05 2012, 7:54PM

    "These workers should use long term parking spaces, public transport or be dropped off by the employer." I'm not really clear 'where' you are coming from. . But I don't know any smaller employer who has the time to molly coddle their staff. . Nor am I aware of any efficient public transport system that gets you where you want to be, when you need to be there.

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  • Charlespk  |  July 05 2012, 7:45PM

    Yes. . You obviously have no experience of any High Street trading, anywhere. . There has never EVER been a clamour from those who living is dependant the High Streets, to introduce parking restrictions, Parking Meters and Traffic Wardens. . Only that they provide more long term FREE PARKING so they could compete with the Supermarkets, who continually blatantly thieve their trade. The plight of the 'Local Butchers' and many others just amplifies this. For example:- When farmers received £300 for a finished beast, prime steak was around £1 per pound. NOW; when farmers receive (approx) £1500 for a finished beast, prime steak is £15, £16 or £17 per pound (in kilos) Hows your arithmetic? . . Get off the back of the High Streets. . It's just PC Madness.

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  • siarad2  |  July 05 2012, 7:18PM

    @charlespk And none of those if uncontrolled. Did you miss entirely my further explanations including similar examples.

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  • Charlespk  |  July 05 2012, 3:34PM

    When was a crowded market place ever a problem?. . If you down like crowds, don't go there or by-pass it.

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  • Charlespk  |  July 05 2012, 3:25PM

    Quote:- "No one is allowed to park on the Queens highway which is for the passing & re-passing of traffic," Who told you that? Quote:- Nicholas Hancox Solicitors 2nd paragraph. "To be fair, there never was a law that said you have to be in a state of constant motion, when exercising your right to pass and re-pass along (or across) the King's or the Queen's highway. "The King's Highway", said Chief Justice Ellenborough in R v Cross (1812) 3 Camp 224, "is not to be used as a stable yard. A stage coach..." (Remember those?) "...may set down or take up passengers in the street, this being necessary for public convenience, but it must be done in reasonable time and private premises must be procured for the coach to stop in during the interval between the end of one journey and the commencement of another." The right to pass and re-pass always included the right to stop and have lunch ( Rodgers v Ministry of Transport [1952] 1 All ER 634) and, since 1999 at least, the right to conduct some protest demonstrations on the highway. (DPP v Jones [1999] 2 AC 240) But there has long been an uneasy relationship between the judges who want to keep the highways clear and those who see little harm in minor obstructions which, in their eyes, do no real harm." . cond.

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  • Charlespk  |  July 05 2012, 3:25PM

    Quote:- "No one is allowed to park on the Queens highway which is for the passing & re-passing of traffic," Who told you that? Quote:- Nicholas Hancox Solicitors 2nd paragraph. "To be fair, there never was a law that said you have to be in a state of constant motion, when exercising your right to pass and re-pass along (or across) the King's or the Queen's highway. "The King's Highway", said Chief Justice Ellenborough in R v Cross (1812) 3 Camp 224, "is not to be used as a stable yard. A stage coach..." (Remember those?) "...may set down or take up passengers in the street, this being necessary for public convenience, but it must be done in reasonable time and private premises must be procured for the coach to stop in during the interval between the end of one journey and the commencement of another." The right to pass and re-pass always included the right to stop and have lunch ( Rodgers v Ministry of Transport [1952] 1 All ER 634) and, since 1999 at least, the right to conduct some protest demonstrations on the highway. (DPP v Jones [1999] 2 AC 240) But there has long been an uneasy relationship between the judges who want to keep the highways clear and those who see little harm in minor obstructions which, in their eyes, do no real harm." . cond.

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  • siarad2  |  July 05 2012, 3:01PM

    No one is allowed to park on the Queens highway which is for the passing & re-passing of traffic, even a designated bay does not confer immunity. Conversely it's not illegal to park but based on obstruction as far as I know. I recall cinemas having to count queues obstruction the highway to send off those unlikely to get a seat. It's neither legal or illegal to window-shop but you can be moved for obstruction. It's a bit like you're not allowed to cypher communications but it's not illegal. I recall attending college in Cambridge when a lot of us were done for parking 5 minutes over time. As I had arrived late my ticket was undeserved so I hot footed it to the police station to remonstrate. Apparently no-one could cancel the ticket, not even the chief constable they said. The upshot was I wasn't prosecuted & I think hundreds of others not too & a tie was made available in a shop with constable xxx number upon. Don't know who instigated the tie but it was more civilised than a riot & much longer lasting & effective. I wonder if constable xxx ever got promotion.

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  • Charlespk  |  July 05 2012, 12:22PM

    Until Civil Servants have their salaries linked to the prosperity or the decline of the High Streets they oversee, nothing will change. . They are able to exist BECAUSE of business prosperity and cannot exist without it, as the world is now finding out.

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  • philkitcher  |  July 05 2012, 11:12AM

    Overzealous application of the parking rules really damages trade. I was done for parking in a safe non traffic obstructing location opposite the New Moon Inn in Southover, Wells on aTuesday morning and got done at 8:10am. The appeal was rejected - nothing to do with the stated reasons why parking enforcement has been introduced - rather "it was not a designated bay." Wednesday morning I would have visited the market before leaving town. Given that I was in Southover again when I moved the car (at 8am) I kept going and used a convenient supermarket at my destination. Somerset you are very likely to lose out if the Wardens are paid on piece rate AND the council fail to identify & mark all the safe parking locations.

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  • Charlespk  |  July 05 2012, 10:22AM

    Quote:- "When I asked him about it he said he had special rights." This Warden needs suspending and immediately sacking.

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