TRADERS in Union Street claim they are easy targets for traffic attendants who are putting their businesses in jeopardy.
A number of parking tickets have been handed out by traffic wardens in recent months to two independent local companies and their customers. It’s an extra headache the firms say they can do without given the already tough trading conditions.
“It’s hard enough to run a business these days without having to deal with this,” said Brian Alexander who has been on the receiving end of a number of tickets for loading and unloading goods outside his electrical business in Union Street.
He added: “There’s only one way in and out of the business and that’s the front door. Outside the shop is all double yellow lines and no loading bays. If people are coming to pick up heavy goods they need to be close to the door.
“If I’m doing deliveries I need to park as close as possible to the shop. The sort of goods I sell and fix can’t be lugged very far.”
Mr Alexander said he’d been hit by three tickets himself and his customers had also been fined by traffic wardens.
In each case Mr Alexander said either the customer or himself had parked close to his business to load heavy goods into their car.
He explained: “What really took the biscuit was when a lady came in and bought a washing machine. I brought it out to her car and she came back into the shop to pay for it. When she went back out to her car again there was a ticket on it. On top of what she’d paid for the washing machine she’d another £45 to pay.”
Mr Alexander who has been running The Appliance Centre, for just under a year, added: “It’s not all the traffic wardens that are ticket crazy. A lot of them apply some discretion. Some of them will come up to the shop and rap the window to tell you that they’ll give you a ticket if you don’t move. I don’t mind that.
“‘It’s the ones that give tickets first and ask questions later that get me. Union Street is an easy target for them.”
Susie McClune of Andrews’ paint shop on Union Street insisted: “I’ve no doubt it’s putting people off businesses in Union Street when they know they’re running the risk of getting a ticket if they park outside to load the car.
“It’s all well and good saying to people to park in one of the free car parks, but how are they expected to bring five tins of paints to their car if they’re parked five minutes away?”
She told of an incident which happened outside the shop recently: “About two weeks ago there was a lady in getting paint. The paint was being mixed and we got a shout from one of the traffic wardens to say the woman needed to get back to her car as it was parked on a double yellow line.
“I explained the woman had a lot of paint to carry out and the traffic warden said that was okay.
“When the paint was ready and the woman paid for it and took it to her car there was a ticket on it. It couldn’t have been any more than five minutes. I said to the traffic warden, ‘You’re only after telling me it was okay’.
“She said it had been okay but it had been a bit too long so she’d given her a ticket.
“That’s what you’re up against,” said Susie.
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