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Frome drivers targeted? Parking fines have become ‘relentless’ claims businesses

LOCAL businesses are claiming that an increase in parking fines is driving people away from the town, suggesting that the new parking wardens are being overzealous and targeting motorists who are only minutes late in returning to their car.

Several town centre businesses have told Frome Times about their concerns with an increase of parking fines in car parks across the town, suggesting that new parking wardens have been set targets which must be met each day.

One told us, “There are two new parking wardens on the case to fine more people; it has become relentless and it’s a real shame. What they are doing is driving people out of the town. People come to Frome because they hear the hype of how great it is, they finally find a parking space and end up getting a ticket – and then they don’t come back.

“Businesses have lost customers because traffic wardens hang around and give tickets, then you can’t return to that car park for two hours and the customer doesn’t come back to make their purchase.

“Cork Street car park especially, people are getting fines for using the car park to visit the cinema – you can only park for two hours and a film lasts longer than that – so the car park that is next to the cinema can’t even be used for its purpose, it’s complete nonsense.

“The previous wardens were fairer, more laid back and used to give 10 minutes’ grace to those returning late to their cars, but the new ones are keeping an eye on their watch, which makes me think that they have particular targets to meet.”

Frome Times approached Somerset County Council to which they responded, “Somerset County Council patrols car parks in Frome in accordance with the guidelines and policies set by Mendip District Council. SCC does not profit from parking fines, fines cover costs and are reinvested into road safety and traffic management schemes.

“Vehicles observed in contravention of the car park regulations may receive a penalty. The majority of drivers understand this, act responsibly and do not overstay. To be sure of not incurring a penalty charge, drivers must buy the correct amount of parking time.

“All drivers who receive a penalty are encouraged to challenge the penalty with details as to why they consider the penalty should be cancelled.

“Civil enforcement officers (aka traffic wardens) are not permitted to be set a ticket target. They will always allow a grace period of 10 minutes following the expiry of time.

“In the interest of fairness, once the officer has issued the penalty,  they are not permitted to cancel it after the 10 minutes has elapsed. As already mentioned, drivers are encourage to challenge if they feel the penalty should be cancelled.”

Frome Times has also put forward a freedom of information request to Somerset County Council to find out how much Somerset County Council collected in parking fines in Frome so far this year. And also how much was collected in 2017, 2016 and 2015 to see whether a noticeable increase has occurred.

One Response to Frome drivers targeted? Parking fines have become ‘relentless’ claims businesses

  1. Nate G

    August 17, 2018 at 10:48 am

    We got a ticket walking to Specsavers trying to pay via app which crashes so went on the website paid for ticket all of this was no more than 5 mins but on return to car a ticket. Appealed it an it was cancelled so they dont give you 10 mins at all

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