Cardiff shopkeepers say parking tickets are ‘strangling’ trade

October 20, 2011 4 Comments »

SHOPS in a busy city suburb are being “strangled” of trade because of repeated parking tickets and a chronic lack of spaces, a business owner has said.

Carol Ivory, who runs the Albany Pets store on Diana Street in the Albany Road area of Roath, said she had gathered nearly 1,100 signatures demanding action on the problem.

It comes after what she says was months of inaction over the problem, which was “driving away” potential customers as they fear being ticketed.

Council leader Rodney Berman said yesterday that the council was looking into options at freeing up short-stay parking spaces on Albany Road, perhaps by moving bus stops to free up space.

He also said the hike in the number of tickets was due to “much improved enforcement”, with people less likely to get away with parking on double-yellow lines.

The row comes after the Echo revealed that drivers in the city centre were nearly three times more likely to receive a ticket than in any other area of the city.

But Roath was shown to be the second hardest hit area – with 10,442 tickets issued in the Plasnewydd ward in 12 months, compared to other shopping areas, such as Whitchurch and Tongwynlais, which received just 830.

Mrs Ivory said: “It is just not fair, you have two shopping areas, with one where you’ve got nearly 10,500 tickets for what is just a couple of streets.

“Whitchurch is a busy shopping area and doesn’t get nearly the amount of tickets or attention that Roath gets, and you have to wonder why there’s such a big difference.

“It really is strangling the trade that we can get. It has taken me 26 years to build up my customer base, and a year for the council to wreck it.”

She said shoppers from outside Roath were unable to park anywhere temporarily on loading bays without the risk of a ticket, discouraging passing trade.

“We have always had traffic wardens, but they tended to move around and not stay in one area,” she said.

“Some loading bays are targeted 20 times a day – and it can be the same people over and over again, and it chokes the business.

“I think it is an easy area to target – it produces a lot of money for not too much effort.

“But it has been our worst trading year since I started the shop and the parking is one of the big factors. I don’t want another year like this one.”

Local councillors and business leaders were due to meet yesterday to discuss the problem in the wake of the petition.

Council leader Rodney Berman, a ward councillor for Plasnewydd, said the petition was due to be considered by councillors as it had only just been handed in, and that Roath was in an “unusual” position due to the number of terraced houses with no option but to park on the street.

“The issue is that since we have taken over the enforcement of parking regulations, people who used to get away with parking on double yellow lines can’t do that any more,” Coun Berman said.

“You also had many people parking on short-stay places for several hours or all day, when it is supposed to be for an hour, which has been tackled by better effective enforcement.

“We have had a consistent approach to spaces and have a proposal to consult on other areas where we can free up spaces in the area.”

A spokeswoman for Cardiff Council said: “We are aware of the concerns surrounding parking in the Albany Road area and traffic officers will today be visiting the site along with the local ward councillors to assess the matter.”

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4 Comments

  1. Wetsock October 20, 2011 at 11:19 am - Reply

    As someone who uses the area regularly, it was ridiculous how people parked previously (and still sometimes do). People often parked over the dropped kerbs, preventing parents with pushchairs and wheelchair users from using the north side of Albany Road (the side with the pet shop). I have also seen ambulances unable to get into the side streets because the traffic coming out of the street is stuck in the middle due to parked cars on the double yellow lines near the corners.

  2. The Grapes of Roath October 20, 2011 at 11:35 am - Reply

    I think it's a point worth making that strict traffic warden patrols are actually ensuring that cars move on after their allowed one hour parking, thus ensuring more visitors to Albany and Wellfield Road, rather than shoppers (and others) being allowed to park on the street all day and hogging spaces.

  3. amanda thompson October 20, 2011 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Roath has no designated car parking areas unlike Whitchurch, Canton etc. There is no easy answer to this. Resident parking has to be protected and so does public transport provision. Unfortunately just too many cars in use these days. Roath is also badly in need of more cycle racks. I live locally and either cycle or walk to Roath shops.

  4. Yasta October 24, 2011 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    It is far easier to get close to shops if you drive these days. My sister stopped using Albany Road because she could not park close to the shops. Now she can because the wardens are booking people who are then longer than permitted.
    One of the other problems used to be the staff who worked in the shops themselves parking on Albany Road which is just plain stupidity because if you are parked where the customers want to park then they will not be able to park close to your store. If they cannot get close to the shops then they wont use them. Like i said plain stupidity.

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