Just leave me alone says Chippenham trader who claims he is hounded by traffic wardens (From Wiltshire Times)
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Just leave me alone says Chippenham trader who claims he is hounded by traffic wardens
Angling shop owner Colin Gittins is fed up with being caught by traffic wardens who he says hide around corners to get their hooks into motorists.
Mr Gittins, who runs Premier Angling in New Road, Chippenham, accepts that he sometimes overstays the permitted parking time in the bay at the back of his shop but he believes the wardens enjoy catching him out.
He said: “We leave the back door open even in winter because of the smell of the bait but you never see a warden walk past. Instead they hide around the corner and put a ticket on the van even when it is only a couple of minutes over time.”
He said that some wardens were friendly but others seemed to enjoy booking as many people as possible. He has had about 12 tickets in the past year.
Mr Gittins, who has run his Chippenham shop for about 12 years, said Wiltshire Council should be doing more to make life easier for independent traders rather than fining them for parking at every opportunity.
He approached Chippenham Town councillor Sandie Webb for help and she said she had a run in with a traffic warden recently.
She said: “I just popped in to my restaurant Revolutions for a couple of minutes to check something early on a Sunday morning and when I came out I had a ticket. You are meant to have a ten-minute leeway and so of course I appealed and won, but the letter that came with the outcome wasn’t at all friendly or apologetic.”
Geoff Lane from Minety is another who wrote to the Gazette to complain about the speed in which he was given a ticket in Cross Hayes Car Park, Malmesbury.
A warden had issued him with a ticket in the time it took him to get from his car to the ticket machine to buy a new ticket when he realised the old one had run out.
A Wiltshire Council spokesman said parking restrictions were in place to ensure people can use roads safely. Wardens used common sense when issuing tickets but there was a clear appeals process available.