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'Absolute chaos' - the endless battle for free spaces at town centre car park

PUBLISHED: 14:03 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:03 11 December 2019

Pitr Bazior, Ilir Berdica, and Damon Tran welcome council efforts to regulate parking in Roman Place which has been an issue for decades Picture: Liz Coates

Pitr Bazior, Ilir Berdica, and Damon Tran welcome council efforts to regulate parking in Roman Place which has been an issue for decades Picture: Liz Coates

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Businesses say they are engaged in an endless war over parking spaces which sees them call council and police on a weekly basis.

The entrance to Roman Place which has long been a source of frustration for businesses in Regent Road who need access to their premises Picture: Liz CoatesThe entrance to Roman Place which has long been a source of frustration for businesses in Regent Road who need access to their premises Picture: Liz Coates

Roman Place, off Regent Road - Great Yarmouth's main tourism thoroughfare - is an oasis of free parking which sees regular skirmishes over who leaves their car where and for how long.

Businesses say they can rarely access their own premises with garages blocked, deliveries unable to unload and sometimes barred altogether from even entering the tight urban space by 'selfish' drivers who park where they like.

Adding to their frustration is the number of vehicles being left for months without tax and insurance and claims people are using it as an unofficial showroom for cars being sold online.

MORE: Council fears 'stirring up hornet's nest' over £16k car park resurface plans

This week Great Yarmouth Borough Council discussed the way forward outlining a plan to introduce permit parking and mark out bays.

The car park in Roman Place, Great Yarmouth, where businesses have blasted 'selfish' drivers for blocking others in. GYBC has plans to make improvements Picture: Liz CoatesThe car park in Roman Place, Great Yarmouth, where businesses have blasted 'selfish' drivers for blocking others in. GYBC has plans to make improvements Picture: Liz Coates

The site will be divided into 12 residents and three disabled bays, and offer parking for nearby businesses.

For restaurateur Ilir Berdica the changes cannot happen soon enough.

He said he was regularly unable to deliver to his eatery on Regent Road and that in the summer bins were left overflowing and stinking because refuse lorries could not get through, although he still had to pay for the service.

Meanwhile Damon Tran, who welcomes guests to his holiday flats in Apsley Road, said every day he had to pick up rubbish and tidy the place up.

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He said rats and cockroaches had been spotted in the area where cars were being dumped, adding: "It is quite ridiculous."

Because no-one maintained it, it was a blight on the area creating a poor impression for visitors.

Other people at the scene said the car park was "forgotten" and that complaints had gone unheard for some 20 years with no-one claiming ownership or responsibility.

MORE: 'The most disgraceful car park in Great Yarmouth' Summer season signals chaos for infuriated residents

One man said it was "absolute chaos" with a daily free-for-all rush for spaces.

Another business owner in Regent Road said he had complained on a weekly basis for years about being blocked in, preventing him from operating his business.

It had got to the point, he said, where everyone was blocking everyone else in out of spite.

"We are passionate about it because it is an absolute pain," he added.

Patsy Elphik at Fawlty Towers guest house said flooding was also a problem, the council having drained a 2ft deep "pond" in the last few days.

Sundays were the worst, she added, with church traffic adding to congestion.

A bid to mark out spaces and introduce a permit system was broadly welcomed this week, with business owners saying they were happy to pay if it meant they could park.

A pay-and-display option for a section of the car park was also welcomed as a way of stopping people who lived several streets away using it as their home space.

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