Anger over dock parking charges
DOCK users have told of their fury at new parking enforcement along a road used by thousands of vehicles travelling to the Port of Felixstowe. Lorry drivers and businesses say they are being stung with £117 parking tickets along Parker Avenue in Felixstowe when stopping in the road for a matter of minutes.
By Danielle Nuttall
DOCK users have told of their fury at new parking enforcement along a road used by thousands of vehicles travelling to the Port of Felixstowe.
Lorry drivers and businesses say they are being stung with £117 parking tickets along Parker Avenue in Felixstowe when stopping in the road for a matter of minutes.
The road is privately owned by Trinity College in Cambridge and is home to a number of haulage firms and offices.
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Managing agents Bidwells, based in Martlesham, have confirmed it has employed an enforcement agency to patrol the area following complaints about the numbers of lorries and vehicles stopping along the route, which has double yellow lines.
But workers have described the move as an unfair money-making scheme and say they were given no warning over the new patrols.
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Cathy Hoye, who has been delivering sandwiches and other vending machine products to offices along the route for the past 15 years, received a ticket for £117 on Thursday after leaving her car for a few minutes while she dropped off an order.
“I've been parking outside there for 15 years with my hazard lights on. This morning I came out after a few minutes and a fixed ticket was on my side screen,” she said.
“I'm furious. We can't even read the notices that are out there and I hadn't even noticed them. I would have thought we would have had a warning about it first.
“It's a money making scheme. Alright £30 but £117 is ridiculous. I can't afford it - my husband has just been made redundant. I've been doing this job for 25 years and I've never had a parking ticket.”
Andy Hart, property administrator for Bidwells, said there had been traffic regulations and double yellow lines along the road for several years and said it received no cash from the fines.
“Obviously, there are those who think they are a law upon themselves in where they park,” he said.
“We have had complaints from several tenants saying their businesses are affected by lorries parking up and delivering. We've had complaints from the council and Suffolk Constabulary about parking down there and congestion on the road.
“We have the right to enforce these obligations in accordance with their leases. We have employed traffic wardens down there with Suffolk Constabulary for 10 years now. This is nothing new.
“There are 60 signs in place on all the private roads. All the signs are legal. The enforcement agents we are now using are to back up the traffic wardens.
“We are now looking at a major health and safety issue down there. I have seen several near head on collisions because lorries park up.”
But one angry business owner, who did not want to be named, said: “If they are so worried about health and safety regulations, then why weren't they down here gritting the road during the snow last week?”
The man said one of his drivers had already received a ticket for £117 for popping into the office for a matter of moments.
“They're not here as a deterrent. They're here to make money. It's £40 in town, why is it £117 with VAT which a driver can't claim back?” he added.
“Everybody is up in arms about it. It will affect business tremendously as my drivers used to stop outside and pop in and they can't now because it will cost them £117.”
Mr Hart said another 40 signs warning of the enforcement were due to go up in the area.