Parking clampdown prompts business fears

A PARKING clampdown in a busy Great Yarmouth street has sparked fears over the future of businesses in the area.

The new and regular traffic warden presence down Northgate Street has led to shop owners fearing fines if they do not move their vehicles regularly.

Concerns come in the wake of a transfer of parking enforcement power from the police to Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Lynn Wilcox, who runs furniture store Secondhand Land with her partner Steve Kenealey, explained the street had previously been the subject of restrictions, but that it had rarely been enforced.

She now fears for the future of business down the street, and said though they had been offered a parking bay permit at the end of the road for �400 they needed vehicle access close by to help transport heavy sofas and other furniture.

Highlighting the fact that residents had also expressed concern about the new tougher measures, she added: “Trade is tough enough now as no-one is spending any money and this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

“The customers will just walk away and people won’t come here so we won’t get any trade, and I fear that a lot of businesses will go down.

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“Business is hard enough and we are struggling to make a living and pay the bills, and it’s left me so angry.”

The rules, which have not changed and are signposted, mean that vehicles can only park for a maximum of an hour, with no return within an hour.

Ainsley Bowers, staff supervisor at The Laundry Room, said that since the wardens appeared last Friday shopowners had been parking on the other side of the street before returning to their own.

However, he claimed he had been told that while one warden permitted them to do this, another one said that they couldn’t.

The 35-year-old also said that in the past when wardens had been present they would come into the shop and warn owners their parking time was set to expire.

“We’re having to take time out of our day to move the vehicles, and when we start getting tickets that could affect the prices we charge,” he added.

Like some others on the street, he accepted that some form of restriction might be needed, but pointed to business permits or loading bays as a possible solution.

Civil parking enforcement led by the borough council was introduced into Yarmouth on November 7.

A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said it was fine for people to park on the other side of the street.

He added: “The parking restrictions on Northgate Street have not changed and the signage makes it clear how long motorists can park for and how long they need to leave it until they can return.

“By enforcing the parking restrictions, we are ensuring a flow of vehicles being able to park on the street during the day, which increases the number of potential customers on the street.

“If we see that a business is unloading a delivery, we allow more time so that the delivery can be completed.”