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.”