Traders blast wardens

PUBLISHED: 17:04 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 21:52 29 May 2010

TRAFFIC wardens in Dunmow are being accused by shopkeepers and the public for being over-zealous and not using common sense in their work. Wardens operating in White Street have come under fire most in recent weeks, where fines have been given out on a

TRAFFIC wardens in Dunmow are being accused by shopkeepers and the public for being 'over-zealous' and not using common sense in their work.

Wardens operating in White Street have come under fire most in recent weeks, where fines have been given out on a regular basis.

Terry Laplain, owner of Tangles hairdressers in the High Street, said: "I have seen car owners parked for two minutes being told off whilst picking up elderly relatives.

"Dunmow needs to have fair traffic wardens that work with the motorist to make a safer town.

"We want the job done in a responsible and fair way with only irresponsible drivers being punished," she said.

The wardens are also too quick to issue tickets to vehicles parked for unloading and loading purposes which could have a knock on effect for trade in the town, she said.

One shopowner said: "We want loading and unloading to be flexible, don't forget we pay the wardens' wages."

Dunmow motorists can help the situation said Mrs Laplain: "Where people have parked irresponsibly there are now double lines, so no-one can park in that area."

She referred to the top of Braintree Road where a few spaces were once available, but now double yellow lines can be found right along the road.

Sue Rudd of Banana Travel in Dunmow thought she had obeyed all the rules, but still found herself receiving a parking ticket. "I am a parking season ticket holder and I received a ticket for having parked on the line in car park near to where I work, I was fined £30."

Thirty pounds may not seem like much, but when you consider Mrs Rudd is already paying out £172 for a season ticket, costs can mount up.

Mrs Rudd also raised the point that the two spaces outside her office are governed by rather erratic behaviour from wardens.

"We see them [traffic wardens] walk past every 10 minutes one day, and then won't see them again for a whole week," she said.

Growing fears among the public are based on the notion that traffic wardens are on a 'target driven' system where they have to cover a certain area in a day or fine motorists a certain amount.

"Is it road safety, or just to make money?" questioned Mike Perry, chairman of Dunmow and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

Diane Burridge, Uttlesford District Council's director of operations, denied wardens were set targets.

She said: "The task for parking attendants is to keep the traffic moving and enforce infringements where they are found.

"They are trained to City and Guilds standards and are not over zealous. There are no targets for the issue of penalty tickets and they are only issued for offences.

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