Traders declare war on wardens

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Traders in a Dales town are waging war on ‘aggressive’ traffic wardens after a spate of delivery lorries received parking tickets.

Business bosses in Wirksworth say over zealous wardens are driving trade away from the town.

Town councillors are also calling for a half-an-hour charge to be brought in, claiming shoppers are being put off by increased parking charges.

Acey Weston, of Ken’s Supermarket, said one of their delivery lorries had been ticketed last week.

She added: “The driver was unloading and the warden gave him a ticket.

“We said we have all these deliveries to unload what do you expect us to do? The traffic warden could see he was carrying things in to the shop but gave him a ticket anyway.”

Acey said shopkeepers had talked about presenting a petition to Derbyshire Dales District Council, urging the parking enforcement officers to be more lenient.

Tony Weston, of Weston’s of Wirksworth, said he would back the petition.

He added: “They are just a different breed of traffic wardens now and I don’t think they are doing the town any good.

“I do really think it is affecting trade as if you park for ten minutes to get a light bulb from us or a pint of milk from Ken’s you face getting a ticket.

“Little shops are trying to make a crust and the wardens are driving people away.”

David Peters, of the town’s post office, said customers had told him they were shopping elsewhere due to parking wardens.

He added: “I appreciate they are doing their job but it seems they are being very heavy handed about it.

“To park in the car park is so expensive now if people just want to nip in to the town. I think a bit of common sense is needed.”

A spokesman for the district council said the county highways department had refreshed on-street painted lines in Wirksworth, which now made it much clearer to drivers where they can and cannot park or unload and for how long.

He added: “If individual motorists have an issue with receiving a parking ticket, the good news is there’s a robust appeals process that allows them to mount a challenge.”

For more on this issue see Cllr Mike Ratcliffe’s letter on page six.