'The most disgraceful car park in Great Yarmouth' Summer season signals chaos for infuriated residents
PUBLISHED: 10:30 10 April 2015
It's the Wild West of parking in the heart of Great Yarmouth - every driver for themselves as they battle for a free space.
The parking free-for-all on a patch of land behind Regent Road has infuriated residents and hotel owners for years. Cars are regularly blocked in, clipped and scratched.
Police were called over the Easter weekend after a minor collision involving a van, and hoteliers were apologising to customers whose vehicles had again been hemmed in.
The parking problems on Roman Place, off Apsley Road, get worse every summer with the annual influx of holidaymakers. But the car chaos could be resigned to history if tighter rules are brought in.
After a particularly bad bank holiday, Norfolk County Council said it was well aware parking was an issue in that area.
A spokesman said a review of residents’ parking should be taking place during winter 2015/16 and that is likely to include looking at “options” for Roman Place.
“If residents’ permits were introduced,” she said, “it is likely that hotels and guest houses would be eligible for permits that would allow parking for their customers.”
At present, drivers can park for free for 24 hours, with no return for 12 hours. And with free town centre parking at a premium, it is jam packed every day.
For people living and working close to Roman Place, enough is enough.
Resident Jason Gonsalves, who captured the parking chaos on camera over the bank holiday weekend, said: “This must be the most disgraceful car park in Great Yarmouth with people parking their cars anywhere and walking off knowing that they should not be parking there.
“This has gone on for years and no-one has done anything about it.”
Hoteliers are fed up and frustrated too, with guests being forced to park elsewhere or routinely getting blocked in.
Philip Elphick, who runs the Fawlty Towers hotel fronting onto Apsley Road, said it had been chaotic for the past 15 years.
“I phoned the police at the weekend because my customers couldn’t get out,” he said.
“The next day they were out because someone shunted a white van.
“It’s constantly a problem because it’s one of the only free car parks left and you don’t need a permit.”
A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “The area marked out for parking bays behind Roman Place is owned by Norfolk County Council. It is designated as part of Resident Parking Zone A, but is not reserved for residents only.
“These parking restrictions were implemented by the county council. The borough council’s role is to carry out parking enforcement in the borough through the Norfolk Parking Partnership (NPP).
“Civil Enforcement Officers patrol the area routinely as part of their thorough daily patrols of Zone A and have issued penalty charge notices there for breaches of parking regulations they witness.
“In addition, civil enforcement officers will carry out targeted visits when complaints are received about illegal parking in specific locations. However, complaints are received relatively infrequently about the area in question and relatively few contraventions are witnessed during patrols.
“Civil enforcement officers cannot be in all places at all times, so the borough council encourages the public to report illegal parking to help officers target their patrols, where possible.
“The best way to report is to email firstname.lastname@example.org”
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