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R950 fine for parking too far out!

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By Tom Kelly

Traffic wardens in Gwynedd, North Wales have been issued with tape measures to fine people who park more than 480mm from the kerb - and drivers face a whopping £70 (R950) fine if they break the rule.

Officials claim the new rule targets “thoughtless and reckless” drivers but drivers reacted with fury, accusing Gwynedd Council of introducing “another tax on drivers”.

Officer manager Francis Kileen, 52, from Pwllheli, said: ‘It’s bad enough drivers getting booked for most the trivial reasons - but the thought of wardens now going round with tape measures and rulers kneeling down in the street and measuring how far drivers are parked from the kerb simply beggars belief.

“Why can’t the authorities find better ways of raising money without annoying the taxpayer?”

Sales representative Caroline Anderson, 48, from Porthmadog, said: “The new rule is a disgrace.

“Drivers have a tough time these days with rising petrol prices, insurance costs and upkeep and now they are being targeted again.

“All this means is we have to get our own tape measures and make sure we parked close enough to the kerb.

“It’s all very time consuming and very petty - why can’t drivers be given a break for a change?”

The AA said that while parking too far from the kerb could in some cases be obstructive and dangerous, common sense should be applied when it came to issuing fines.

ON-THE-SPOT FINES

An AA spokesman said: “This is one of those rules that can anger motorists but seem perfectly reasonable to local authorities.

‘What people will be worried about is that it is just another tick box for traffic wardens to hand out tickets.”

The AA urged the council to initially issue drivers a with a warning before “slapping them with a ticket”.

Wardens will be able to issue on-the-spot fines to all offending drivers, including disabled motorists who hold blue badges.

Fines will be cut to £35 (R475) if paid within 14 days.

RESTRICTING VISIBILITY

A Gwynedd Council spokesman said the new rules were introduced after officials received complaints about people parking too far from the kerb. He added: “Parking in this way can restrict visibility for pedestrians wanting to cross the road and so making our roads dangerous for those on foot.

“It can also block the flow of traffic and cause congestion, especially where streets are narrow.

“In the past, the civil parking enforcement officers could do nothing about the situation but these new powers will allow them to ticket vehicles who park irresponsibly.”

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Councillor Gareth Roberts added: “Drivers who block road crossing points cause great difficulty for people who are visually impaired, wheelchair users and parents or grandparents pushing buggies.

“There have also been cases where the emergency services and other essential services cannot get through because drivers have parked over an access to a driveway or too far from the kerb.

“These new powers are aimed at tackling thoughtless motorists who demonstrate this inconsiderate, and in some cases reckless, behaviour.’

National parking laws which came into force in 2009 allow councils to issue fines against those who park their cars more than 480mm from the kerb, but it is up to individual authorities to decide whether to enforce this.

The UK Highway Code tells drivers to park “as close as you can” to the kerb, but does not specify a maximum allowed distance. - Daily Mail

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