Debate

Last Wednesday’s Market Place parking enforcement – ‘challenge tickets’ urge Councillors

Parking market placeFOLLOWING the Hedon Blog (on behalf of resident Alan Hudson) raising with Hedon Town Council the issue of traffic congestion and hold-ups on a Wednesday morning as the market sets up, and then photographing last Wednesday’s traffic and noting the potential for chaos, a chain of events was set in motion that resulted in some motorists receiving parking tickets.

East Riding of Yorkshire Councillors (ERYC) Ward Councillors Mike Bryan and John Dennis have jointly issued this statement and urge motorists affected by the penalties issued on the Wednesday morning 28th January 2015 to appeal – and the councillors say they are prepared to support those appeals.

Mike Bryan and John Dennis

Joint statement

“To put a brief timeline together, the matter of parking in Hedon was discussed at the Council Meeting last week (nothing new there!) and someone mentioned the snarl-up which occurred a couple of weeks ago on market day, Jan 14th. That morning at around 8 o’clock the whole town centre was gridlocked due mainly to inconsiderate parking along the roadside outside the post office and the Co-op. Following that meeting Mike Bryan, in his ERYC Ward Member role sent an email through the County Hall to the ERYC Parking Enforcement Team, – using these words

‘People have been airing their views in Hedon that the Traffic Wardens never appear to come on a Wednesday when it is market day and there are a lot of breaches in the parking regulations. Please could you confirm whether this is the case?’

“As you will see it was not a request for a warden to attend, it was designed to start a discussion about how they (ERYC) could possibly help us (Hedon Town Council) to overcome the early morning problems on market day. No-one rang County Hall to ask for a warden to come down on Wednesday.

“Last week, after the email, the market started up on Wednesday morning as usual but only three traders turned up, and because it was a poor day and very windy, they packed up and left early, around lunch-time. Of course, as soon as they cleared away, the Market Place is empty, and understandably, people turn in and park to go to the shops, banks etc.

Market Hill Car Park sign for Market DayNo-one thinks to read the signage which clearly says ‘Wednesday – no parking 6am to 6pm’, because they always park there etc etc. However they are technically in breach of the parking restriction, and, unfortunately the parking warden comes along at that very time and starts handing out tickets, which is exactly what she must do to anyone parking illegally. She has no flexibility on this. It is the job she does, she has no discretion. It’s not about how much money it raises, it’s about complying with traffic regulations.

“Obviously this caused some concern, and a number of shop-keepers spoke to us, but by then the warden had left. We tried to explain what had actually happened, but the damage had been done. It was a string of events which couldn’t have been predicted, a ‘perfect storm’ scenario perhaps!

“Thursday morning as soon as we were able, we called for a meeting with the three senior ERYC Parking Enforcement Officers at Beverley and laid out the facts before them, hoping perhaps that they had discretion and might be able to cancel the tickets. Again, working within statutory regulations that they are not empowered to break, the message is that the tickets have to be actioned, however, the recipients have two chances of challenging them, and we hope (following that discussion – no promises) the department may well take into account the above ‘extenuating circumstances’.

“We will write to the department to confirm our discussion and will be prepared to place a letter with anyone’s appeal if they so wish.

“Additionally we are fixing to have a meeting in Hedon in the next week or two early on a Wednesday morning with one of the senior parking officers so he can see for himself the issues we face. The fact is, every old market town has such problems and we will do what we can to try and improve things for Hedon, including, hopefully, securing an extension to the old Station Yard car park, which is being discussed presently.”

In addition to the above particular issue associated with parking and traffic flow, the town needs to resolve issues regarding the Wednesday Market generally. The questions raised by local businessman Gary Robinson about the location of the market and the type of market traders attending, need to be addressed; does the market raise the level of footfall in the town from which all the local businesses benefit, or is the market actually a competitor to local businesses that affects takings? And is there an alternative location for the market available at Market Hill or elsewhere?

The addition of an extra (presumed) fifteen or so parking spaces by extending the old railway station yard car park, whilst extremely helpful if it goes ahead, is unlikely to make a major impact on the problem locally. So, ongoing discussions on the issue of parking enforcement; parking regulations, how long you’re allowed to stop in a particular spot, rules for delivery vehicles, taxis, buses, etc, all need to take place; eventually resulting in parking regulations that we all understand and agree to abide by. This needs to be accompanied by initiatives to encourage us all to use our cars less for local journeys where possible.

Vehicle parking in the town centre will continue to be a major issue in the run up to the local elections in May. But what an opportune time to have a thorough public discussion on the issue!

Parking collage 2

3 replies »

  1. Many of the parking issues in Hedon are from inconsiderate drivers stopping on the carriageway to ‘pop into the co-op’ or ‘just use the cash machine’. Whilst parking regulations allow for set down and pick up of passengers they dont allow for people to be lazy and stop – illegally.

    I am probably quite new to Hedon (well 10 years now…) but the market has a right to be in the market place and traffic is only going to increase. Enforcement is going to be the only corrective action unless half of the Town is bulldozed.

    Could the market be relocated to the Station car park? Or Johnsons Corner long stay car park? Either sites are not ideal and reduce parking further but land is limited.

    Market Hill is, well, a nightmare on a Wednesday especially so not a good location at all. Two Doctors surgeries and local childcare and other businesses still have to function.

    The part ERYCC owned car park behind the Queens pub is another poorly enforced example. The car park needs to allow delivery and collection vehicles in and out as well as cars to park but frequently LGV can get in but not out as people do not park in the (poorly) marked bays.

    My opinion is that with good enforcement we can all use the car parks we have or – leave the car at home – and walk.

    And why is the market a Wednesday? Those of us working all week cant take advantage so perhaps – and dont shoot me – moving to a Saturday and having it on Market Hill when the surgeries are closed might not be a bad idea – we could then encourage more traders – look at Beverley for direction – they use up a massive car parking area but it works!

    Like

  2. How long have Cllrs Bryan and Dennis been councillors for this town and how long have they let this situation get worse and worse?

    I’m not expecting a miracle but I’m expecting whoever gets ellected in May to sort out parking in Hedon and some investment made into parking provisions.

    Like

  3. A really annoying one on the photo above – Hedon Hire vans – using public parking on Market Hill to store all their business vehicles! Usually parked badly, they should park in their yard, or at least in a straight line….

    Like

Leave a Reply (FULL NAMES please, don't post anonymously)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s