Reader's Letter: Parking wardens - a benefit or unintentional curse?

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I am interested to know the views of Wilmslow residents on the council's use of traffic wardens in the town centre - particularly at weekends.

Retail shops in the town continue to struggle and yet parking wardens appear to have their 'favourite' locations where they almost stalk motorists.

Examples are the taxi rank outside Costa - it's rarely used for taxis and yet 7 days a week the wardens issue tickets.

The post office / Tesco Express site on the yellow lines, when other parking is full people just want to pop in to post something, is another favourite.

There are many more locations like these which are not issues when you shop at out of town locations like M&S, Stanley Green and John Lewis.

Are the actions of council traffic wardens in the town centre helping? Or do they put people off coming into the town to shop?

Should our council have a more flexible and enlightened approach, particularly over weekends and bank holidays?

What do Wilmslow residents think?

Share your views via the comment box below.

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

James Hanson
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 1:02 pm
Well .....

If you park illegally you are therefore liable for a ticket - so no excuses there.

There is a school of thought that the wardens are target based and therefore prowl key hotspots - this has been denied by the council.

I have watched the warden on Water Lane for 4 years and they do ignore some cars that park dangerously and do go low hanging fruit this is more to do with human nature and individual wardens than the council policy.

The parking review is ongoing and there will probably be no answers there

I my humble opinion the wardens should focus on dangerous parking first and anything else second

But is you imagine no wardens - it would be a Brexit style disaster !!
Sam Cummings
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 1:08 pm
I agree that if it's illegal parking a ticket should be issued. Especially if it's dangerous parking; however the taxi ranks outside costa and the like are irksome. Taxi's don't park there during the day - I, for one, once got a ticket for parking there on a Sunday morning because I had to run into Tescos. I was gone 5 minutes whilst I ran across the road and then ran back. It cost me £30.

I think perhaps the best thing to do would be to narrow the times down for parking on those kinds of places but that's just a personal opinion from a resident who literally can't seem to park anywhere these days.
Nik Eastwood
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 1:23 pm
the parking wardens of course are target based, its an income stream for the council so they will be looking to ticket as many vehicles as possible

I just dont bother with the town any more, if on the occasion I miss a mail parcel then I will of course go to the sorting office to pick it up, usually on a saturday morning when I can get my other half to nip in while I wait "just in case" a warden appears, of course being with the vehicle means I am not blocking anyone or anything, that doesnt make it right of course!

I am sure that the CCTV operators can tell wardens where to go to find bait as well.
Cathy Bielby
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 2:31 pm
I don't see the wardens that often, I do however, see a lot of cars illegally parked on double yellow lines, coming out of One Way streets the wrong way i.e. on Nursery Lane. If you say anything to the drivers you get a mouthful of abuse! Disabled drivers parking dangerously & causing an obstruction. Cars parked on pavements causing pedestrians to walk in the road. Some of these a traffic warden cannot issue a ticket for as only the Police can do that. It seems to me that some drivers have forgotten what their legs are for & think it is their God-given right to park wherever they want when they want. If we didn't have the traffic wardens the situation would be worse. People get angry because they know they are in the wring.
Sally Hoare
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 2:46 pm
I don’t think it is very clear that the area near Costa is a taxi rank. I have never seen a taxi there during daytime hours, so this could be returned to short term parking during the day.
Having spoken to the traffic wardens they definitely do head for soft targets. I think it is inevitable.
Unless I am on foot I now only use the post office in Tesco in the evening, otherwise I drive to Handforth.
Looking forward to our new Chapel Lane post office.
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 3:01 pm
Now to be found increasingly in Bramhall. One hour free and there are two car parks where 3hrs costs 70p.
Still what beats Sandbach the home of CEC? It’s free!
Roger Thawley
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 4:26 pm
Some years ago I was awarded with a parking ticket for parking squint in a space barely adequate to accommodate my vehicle. I queried the ticket, which, subsequently caused the issue to exceed the period within which the payment is half. I felt that my objection was pointless, that the exercise was all about making money, rather than achieving anything useful and I haven't shopped in Wilmslow since.
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 4:27 pm
Undoubtedly they target obvious and easy targets. One of them was about to ticket a taxi outside Sainsbury's the other day as the driver was helping a very unstable elderly lady to the car. She (the uniformed one) loudly and arrogantly informed the driver that, as he didn't have a disabled badge on display he was committing an offence. The actions of bystanders and Sainsbury's staff dissuaded her of the wisdom of handing out a ticket but her attitude was appalling. The office parkers who take the p*** by moving cars around are the ones who need to be targeted but only get a ticket once a month. One of these officials has had to be warned to keep off private property and stop interfering with vehicles. Next stop civil action.
Alexandra Best
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 4:54 pm
All car parks in this ever growing ghost town should be free leaving all roads free of clutter.. win win.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 5:02 pm
Perhaps there are a couple of reasons why there are seldom taxis on that rank- firstly they can't get on because other cars are illegally parked and secondly, if they pick up a fare... they will not be there because they are doing their job.
Howard Piltz
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 5:23 pm
I believe the reason tickets are issued outside Costa Coffee is that taxis pay for that site being reserved and then alert the authorities if they see someone parking there. I have no issue with the wardens, park where you shouldn't and expect a ticket, SIMPLES! My issue is with the site being reserved all day, surely the Council could free up the spaces during the day.
Robert Farr
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 7:19 pm
I agree the so called taxi rank outside Costa is rarely used during the day and it could be gainfully converted to disabled parking, of which there are only four places near the Tesco post office and arcade, leaving blue badge holders little choice but to park on double yellow lines as they are allowed to do, for up to three hours, even if it causes congestion or added risk to other road users. I write as the spouse of a blue badge holder who cannot walk very far.
Robert Farr
Helen Williams
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 8:12 pm
I rarely see a traffic warden but they are definitely needed.
The disabled parking spaces outside Tesco express and Nat West Bank are always occupied by non blue badge uses.
At school drop off and collecting time Alderley Edge is a night mare and traffic wardens need to be there on a daily basis, especially if they are target driven.
There is no excuse for illegal parking at the weekends as there is no shortage of car park spaces.
John Jennings
Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 8:27 pm
For goodness sake!You park illegally,you get a ticket,accept,pay up,move on
Sam Cummings
Thursday 21st February 2019 at 11:03 am
Speaking of wardens giving tickets to people who are doing things they can't avoid (like helping the elderly); I was walking past a shop the other day and a small van had parked up outside to unload stock.
As I walked by the owner of the van came outside to query why he'd been given a ticket and the warden said there was no sign they were unloading... I just had to laugh and move on. It really couldn't have been clearer what the guy was doing!
Whilst, yes, if you 'park illegally you get a ticket', I think it's important that the people who live in the town and thus know the way the roads and spaces are used speak up and challenge the 'authority'. Otherwise we might as well just let people who don't live in the area make the rules. The rules should support the community, not control them!
Steven Kingsby
Thursday 21st February 2019 at 11:37 am
Parking wardens are definitely needed.
Without them the selfish, careless people that already get away with blatant, irresponsible, if not illegal, parking would cause chaos in Wilmslow.
The more expensive the car the worse they are.
Cathy Bielby
Thursday 21st February 2019 at 3:46 pm
Just to clarify Blue Badge holders are not allowed to park within 15 meters of a junction nor are you allowed to park where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or other road users. I appreciate the disabled person may not be able to walk far but the rules are clear.
Peter Davenport
Thursday 21st February 2019 at 8:22 pm
Dear All
Terry Roeves mentioned Sanbach, which has frre car parkd. The reason for this is that the main park was a registered village, and Sandbach told CE under no uncertain terms to do. I believe this is the situation in Alsager as well, and something similar in Middle wich. My friend also told that the car park in the middle of Crewe is in a bad condition, and most people go to a shopping centre elsewhere.
Peter Davenport
Jon Newell
Thursday 21st February 2019 at 9:04 pm
I think the parking enforcement officers are doing all they can within the resources they are allowed to employ.
The most frequently abused parking in Wilmslow is the Bank Square end of Grove Street where, on a daily basis, people park blocking access to the three disabled places. Most of these parkers appear to think the area is parking for Nat West Bank and Konak cafe - I pass this point on a daily basis and see this all the time.
From speaking to the parking enforcement officer, I know they have their regular customers - they are ticketing the same vehicles three or four times each month.

I offer two solutions to this seemingly perpetual problem.
1. Put number plate recognition cameras and fine on a 100% basis. This technology is obviously available because it is in use at both Anthology and Coach and Four. It will either pay for itself or eliminate the issue. A win in either case.
2. Make parking fines a driving offence. Two fines in a year gets three points, another fine within 12 months gets 6 points, another fine within 12 months gets 12 points. Illegal parking will soon end.

Unfortunately, eliminating illegal parking will cut Local Authoruty revenues. I have a suspicion that Local Authotities' preferred option is an "acceptable" level of illegal parking to generate maximum revenue. They have no interest in elimination.
Rick Andrews
Thursday 21st February 2019 at 9:13 pm
Also need to ask if the wardens turn a blind eye to some offenders, who perhaps have connections to local car dealers, shops and office building owners, and regularly park for long periods or on double yellow lines etc. One rule for the poor.......
Mark Russell
Friday 22nd February 2019 at 8:46 am
Since when has parking a car on yellows or in a taxi rank become illegal?? It’s a traffic offence, hence you only get a ticket. Also hence why the police are not interested “not my problem guv”. Of course the wardens are target driven, or they would just sit in McDonald’s all day.

Perhaps towns should be blitzed instead of random ticketing. Pick on town in the area, send all wardens there for a day and winner gets a day off. That way everybody who is breaking the rules gets a ticket, revenues go up, and human nature is as such if we think we will get caught, we won’t do it!

I know that will take a itty bit of organising by the council, so we can forget about it ever happening.
Terry Roeves
Friday 22nd February 2019 at 3:19 pm
Fri morning on Lindow Common, with Three CE employees looking for dog walkers not picking up dog poo or leaving the bag. Some pick up and leave bag to collect and bin on return.
That’s an offence with fixed penalty of £30-
No objection to enforcement in our parks, but three of them?
Jon Newell
Tuesday 26th February 2019 at 9:29 am
A first today - tried to take the grandchildren swimming. At 9.30 am, we could not find a parking place at the leisure centre, Broadway Meadow or the Rex. Everywhere else is too far for the 2 year old to walk.
A queue of five cars waiting in the aisles at the Leisure Centre.

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