ALLISON DICKINSON reports on the plight of one of Chester’s forgotten corners
SHOPS in an out-of-the-way part of Chester say a team of “overzealous” parking wardens are killing off their custom.
Under new regulations, Chester City Council deployed a team of attendants on to the city’s streets.
Simon Cleveland runs an antiques shop on Watergate Row, which backs on to Weaver Street.
He said: “We have been having awful problems. Before the council wardens came along it wasn’t too bad but now they are around here all the time.
“We have been here two years and have never had problems but the new traffic wardens are overzealous.”
Uri Jacobi, owner of Uri Jacobi Oriental Carpets, Watergate Row, which backs on to Commonhall Street, has received two parking tickets in as many weeks.
He said: “We have nowhere to park. We have been here for 12 years but the problem is we do need the car to see clients or to make deliveries.
“Even though the car parks are so expensive, they are always full and it has an effect on the business.”
Michelle Haslam, branch manager at Hobs Reprographics, said: “It is definitely getting worse since the council took over, they’re here every day. It will have an effect on us as we can’t allow customers to come to the back door any more to pick up jobs – if there is a delay and they have to wait, they’ll get a ticket – and they will take their business elsewhere.”
Sandra Harris, of Sandra Harris Interiors, added: “Customers want to be able to pick items up from the shop and they won’t do that if they are getting ticketed.
“The council must be able to see how things are degenerating – shops are closing, the streets are empty and they don’t do anything to help.
David Bennett, of Chester City Council parking services, said: “We have only just taken over these responsibilities and are still trying to establish normal working practices.
“We will look and take observations before going back and, if the vehicle is still there with no signs that loading or unloading is taking place, then there will be a ticket issued.
“As far as the loading bay is concerned, we will check this area to see if the double yellow lines are in the right place.”
As to the number of parking tickets issued, Mr Bennett says only 150 have been issued across the whole of the Chester area since the changeover.
He added: “For the first 10 days, we issued 800 warning notices.”