Parking changes protests rage on

Charlotte Thompson, of Wold Newton, is due to give birth next week and got a parking ticket in Bridlington because she had to stop for the loo. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120813a 20/02/12
Charlotte Thompson, of Wold Newton, is due to give birth next week and got a parking ticket in Bridlington because she had to stop for the loo. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120813a 20/02/12

MORE complaints about Bridlington’s heavy handed traffic wardens have streamed in to the Free Press office over the past week.

This comes after last week’s report that the council had handed out more parking tickets (363) in its first month since taking over on-street, non pay and display parking enforcement from Humberside Police, than the police had in an entire year (319).

This led to calls from residents and the town’s mayor, Coun Cyril Marsburg, for the traffic wardens, known as civil enforcement officers, to show more compassion when handing out tickets.

One woman who believes they could show more understanding is Charlotte Thompson of Butt Lane, Wold Newton.

She is due to give birth next week, and received a parking ticket recently when visiting Bridlington after a hospital appointment.

“I had just visited Bridlington Hospital, where I paid £1.20 to park, and came into town afterwards to do some shopping,” said Charlotte, 34.

She had parked near the Brunswick Hotel and visited some local shops, but on the way back to her car, nature called, and she knew she would not be able to make it back the ten miles to Wold Newton.

When she arrived back at her car, nine minutes late, she had received a ticket.

“I am not asking for special treatment for parents, or for being pregnant, but obviously the wardens had been waiting to ticket my car as soon as the hour was up.

“I understand the wardens have a difficult job, but they could show a little bit of understanding.

“Just last week, I was dropping my husband off in the town, and the parking warden stood at the front of my car, smirked at me, got his computer ticket device out of his pocket and shrugged his shoulders as if to say ‘are you moving or do you want a ticket?’

“His attitude was appalling and totally unnecessary, if he had stood a further 20 seconds he would have witnessed my manoeuvre away, he left me feeling embarrassed, frustrated, angry and upset at his attitude and I have totally changed my mind on these officers and will do my best to shop elsewhere in the future.”

Charlotte now says that she would think twice about visiting Bridlington to do her shopping in the future.

“I live 10 miles away from Bridlington, and 12 away from Scarborough. I have a four-year-old son as well, Noah, so when I come to Bridlington I know I am only going to have a limited time to park, get out the pram for the baby, and do my shopping without being targeted as the wardens don’t give any lee-way.

“In future, it’s likely I will travel the extra distance to Scarborough to do my shopping as I would have three hours with the parking disc.

“People who live in surrounding villages are vital to Bridlington’s businesses, and they need to drive into the town when they come to do their shopping. They could be driven elsewhere.” Another person to question the civil enforcement officers is Patryk Kunda, who is appealing a ticket issued to his father’s car last week.

The ticket was issued on Saturday December 3 when Patryk’s dad Ryszard had parked in a loading bay outside his home on North Street.

“My father works away during the week, and only parks the car outside the house on a weekend,” said Patryk, 18.

“The sign on the street says that the parking restrictions only apply from Monday to Friday, between 8am and 4pm, so I’ve no idea how we have been issued with a ticket.”

The debate has also raged on our Facebook site, with a number of Bridlington residents unhappy with the number of tickets being issued, while others have agreed with the council’s ticketing policy.