County take-over sparks ticket fears

Market traders in Horncastle have called for a “common sense” approach from new traffic wardens employed by Lincolnshire County Council.

The council has taken over from the police to enforce on-street parking regulations in a scheme rolled out across the country.

It has led to an increase in the number of tickets issued in many regions.

In Louth, traders parking close to the market while they set-up their stalls claim they have been threatened with tickets.

They are hoping the problem does not spread to Horncastle’s twice-weekly markets.

The situation in Horncastle is slightly different in that the market is held on a car park controlled by East Lindsey District Council.

However, the surrounding roads are now patrolled by county council wardens.

Trader Alan Grant said: ”We need to park near to the stalls to set up and then pack up at the end of the day.

“We can’t all park on the Market Place because there isn’t room.

“The last thing we want is a £70 ticket when we’re only trying to do our jobs.

“We can’t park away from the market and carry everything to the stalls. It wouldn’t work.

“We know the wardens have a job to do but we’re asking for a common sense approach.”

The county council took charge of street parking last month.

They have employed 20 wardens - or ‘enforcement officers’ - who are operating across the county

The officers are part of a £1.1m scheme which the council claims will raise £940,000-a-year.

Initially, there was a two-week handover period when officers warned motorists.

In the first full week of operation, officers handed out 323 tickets in Lincolnshire. Fifty per cent were issued in Lincoln .

In the East Lindsey area, 54 tickets were issued in the five days leading up to last Friday.

No specific figures are 
available for Horncastle, Woodhall Spa and Wragby.

Enforcement officers have regularly been seen patrolling Horncastle and tickets have been issued to cars parked in time-limited ‘bays’ in Church Lane.

The council denies it is treating the scheme as a money making exercise and says motorists parking legally have nothing to worry about.

Most off-street car parks are still run by ELDC who will consider controversial proposals to increase charges next month.