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Leek's parking policy is driving people away from town claims Stockport man

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 15, 2014

Mr Smith's car where the edge of his back wheel is on the edge of the dropped kerb crossing

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A STOCKPORT man who has been bringing his family to Leek to go shopping for many years claims the town is gaining a bad reputation for its parking policy.

Shaun Smith said that after 40 years of driving with no parking offences he had received two, both in Leek.

Mr Smith, 60, said: "The first was in the Silk Street car park where I had my disabled mother-in-law with me, so I parked against a wall with double yellow lines displaying the correct disabled badges.

"On returning from shopping I found I had been booked as car parks are different to roads and you cannot park on double yellow lines in a car park, unlike a road. I thought where I parked was a continuation of the road.

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"It is not clear the main car park is off to the right. I saw the car parking warden who admitted I was not the only person with disabled badges who had been booked there.

"My appeal was turned down

"Is this sinking to a new low, where an authority is leaving a parking trap to catch disabled people and taking money from them?

"As a consequence of this my disabled mother-in-law will not come to Leek as I wouldn't have parked there if she had not been with me."

Mr Smith said the second offence occurred on Portland Street three weeks ago, next to a dropped kerb.

He said: "The back wheel of my car was next to the dropped kerb. There are double yellow lines, then a gap and then the crossing, enticing people to park there.

"We like to come to Leek for its local shops, market and eat in the local cafes. If the town wants to drive people away this parking policy is the way to do it.

"After talking to people in Cheshire I was told that it was bad news if you parked in Leek as it has a reputation for issuing penalty fines to people."

A spokesman for Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said: "The number of parking notices issued since 2007 has decreased and, far from being one of the worst areas, the evidence shows that the Moorlands has one of the lowest level rates in the county. The council's priority at all times is safety, and parking on the access road to Silk Street car park is restricted for that reason. Double yellow lines indicate the start of the car park and signs also welcome drivers.

"Further signs are posted on the side of the toilets to inform drivers that they are in a car park so it is clearly marked. Holders of blue badges can park for free in the council's pay and display car parks, but should not park on double yellow lines where obstruction is caused.

"With regard to Portland Street, the photographs clearly show that the vehicle was parked over a dropped, tactile kerb.

"These tactile markings are in place to assist blind and visually impaired people, wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs cross safely and it is important that these areas are kept clear at all times.

"The civil enforcement officers in the Moorlands operate to the same Staffordshire-wide policies as other councils to provide a standardised and fair system across the county. It is their job to deter irresponsible parking and to keep traffic flowing and roads clear enabling people to make the journeys they want to make and supporting businesses and the local economy."

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