'Devoid of common sense' - on-street parking enforcement criticised
- Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske/Eric Seward
A county councillor has hit out at on-street parking enforcement in his town calling it "devoid of any common sense".
Norfolk county councillor Eric Seward said enforcement carried out in the town by West Norfolk council had annoyed residents on Pound Lane and Manor Road.
Speaking during a meeting of the Norfolk Parking Partnership committee on March 4, Mr Seward said: "I wish King's Lynn never came into the town to do on-street parking [enforcement].
"Quite frankly the way they approach it at times is devoid of any common sense, all it does is create annoyance amongst residents and I just wish they'd stick to enforcement on our own car parks.
"I'm sorry to have to say that but quite frankly I am just fed up with the way that at times they approach on-street parking in North Walsham."
West Norfolk council business manager Martin Chisholm replied: "I strongly ask councillor Seward to reflect on comments he made earlier and offer the committee some clarification as to whether it's the enforcement he is unhappy with, not the actions of officers concerned who are enforcing the restrictions they're contractually obligated to.
"I'm incredibly unhappy about the comment and the inferences that were made by councillor Seward.
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"I don't think it is a fair reflection of the officers on the ground, the working situation they work in, and the abuse they get on a daily basis carrying out the restrictions that you as members get the opportunity to comment on and change before they're made and put into place."
Mr Seward said his comments in the meeting referred to the way enforcement officers had interpreted the regulations by issuing parking tickets to vehicles parked on verges and disused roads, which he says residents have done for years.
He said: "They've issued parking tickets for vehicles that are not parking on double yellow lines and not obstructing the road and pavement.
"They've done it for years and nobody has actually challenged it and then all of a sudden an enforcement officer comes along and decides that it's an offence.
"Whilst in this latest instance I've dealt with they didn't issue a fine, they did say if it happens in future then the person would receive a ticket, which I think is absolutely absurd."
A West Norfolk council spokesperson said: "West Norfolk handles enforcement for many areas across Norfolk on behalf of Norfolk County Council.
"Norfolk County Council are responsible for determining where the lines and parking restrictions are placed, we then undertake enforcement fairly and consistently in accordance with published parking orders.
"If anyone is unhappy with parking restrictions and wants them relaxed or indeed introduced, then they need to contact Norfolk County Council for these to be considered."