Crack down on illegal parking in Wells and Fakenham

Wells, where police are set to issue warnings to drivers who park and cause obstructions. Picture: C

Wells, where police are set to issue warnings to drivers who park and cause obstructions. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Police have promised to target drivers who park illegally in two north Norfolk towns.

Norwich Street, in Fakenham, where drivers face £100 fines if they cause an obstruction. Picture: Ch

Norwich Street, in Fakenham, where drivers face £100 fines if they cause an obstruction. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Officers will place warning notices on vehicles obstructing driveways and pavements in Wells for a trial period over the October half term holidays.

Wells town councillors voted for the measure tonight, after they and residents raised concerns with area police commander Chris Stevens.

Residents and traders are complaining about vehicles parked on pavements, obstructing driveways and other parking offences.

A report to councillors said the worst affected streets were

Polka Road, Shop Lane, Marsh Lane, Northfield Lane, Mill Road and

Market Lane.

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The town council also agreed to set up a working party to look at wider issues of congestion, made up of councillors, police, highways officials, traders and residents.

Insp Stevens said while it was no longer his officers' responsibility to give tickets to drivers on double yellow lines, they could issue a TOR - traffic offence report - to those causing an obstruction.

'We're more than willing to work with the council to do something about parking,' he said. 'We do need to find a solution on this, as it's obviously been going on for some time.'

County councillor Marie Strong said until recently, some police officers believed that the problem was the responsibility of parking enforcement officers to deal with.

Campbell MacCallum, portfolio holder for traffic, said: 'You haven't dealt with speeding. Speeding's a major problem in Wells.'

Insp Stevens said one officer had recently issued 36 speeding tickets in three shifts on duty. He said officers carried out speed checks when they could, adding: 'We have speed guns and officers go out daily with them. I can assure you they go out every day.'

Councillor Joe Ellison said speeding was a problem on Northfields Lane. Gary Anthony said many of those driving too fast were locals.

The working party will meet later this month. Resident and retired highways engineer Stuart Parnell handed Mr MacCallum a report he had prepared, which he said he believed showed how the town's traffic problems could be solved at a cost of £5,000 a year.

'I've lived in Wells for 20 years and been coming here since I was six months old,' he said. 'I've seen it degenerate every summer.

'The exit from Beach Road is the crux of it. I've spent an hour trying to get out of Beach Road. I just see chaos.'

In Fakenham, police are warning drivers face fines of £100 for parking on pavements in Norwich Street. Illegally-parked vehicles obstruct footways, forcing pedestrians into the busy street to get past.

Beat manager PC Wayne Simmons said: 'Parking on the footpath in Norwich street has long been an issue in the town.

'Cars used to stop outside Lloyds bank to use the cash machine and were half on the road and half on the footpath which caused an obstruction to pedestrians and worse blocked the way for wheel chairs mobility scooters.

'Lately more and more cars have been using the road as an ad-hoc car park especially in the evening to collect take aways from the three food outlets on the road.'

Officers have been handing out letters to drivers, explaining what they are doing wrong.

'I have handed out around 50 such letters over the weekend and 99pc of the people that I have spoken to have fully accepted our actions and agree with what we are doing,' said PC . 'More importantly they know what they are doing is wrong.'

Enforcement began today, with drivers facing £30 fines for causing an obstruction and £100 and three penalty points for driving without consideration for other road users, such as driving up onto the footpath to park.

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