Skipton is ‘undermined by parking piranhas’

Craven Herald: Coun Robert Heseltine on the High Street setts Coun Robert Heseltine on the High Street setts

Traffic wardens have been accused of acting like “piranhas hunting in a goldfish bowl”.

The claim comes from county and district councillor Robert Heseltine who is concerned about the “strange” enforcement of traffic regulations on Skipton High Street setts.

Over recent weeks, numerous tickets have been issued to motorists who have taken advantage of the non-appearance of traders on market days and parked on the setts.

North Yorkshire County Council – which is responsible for enforcement – says the wardens have no discretion.

But, Coun Heseltine claims the wardens turn a blind eye to traders’ vans that are parked on double yellow lines all day. “This is clear discrimination,” he added.

Now, he has called for a “full and comprehensive” review of the regulations by the council’s Craven Area Committee when it meets on March 13.

“I am proposing that on market days any market pitch which is not occupied by its tenant by 9.30am is available for free parking for the rest of the day,” said Coun Heseltine.

He said the problems were an “unwanted, unreasonable and unwarranted consequence” of the decriminalisation of parking. It had given responsibility for enforcement to the county council, which had contracted the task to Harrogate Borough Council.

“The image of our market town is being very seriously and consistently undermined and damaged by the Harrogate officers with their strange interpretation of parking on the High Street setts on market days, “It appears that market traders have a dispensation from the enforcement officers to park all day on the setts, but when any other vehicles, whose occupants are either shopping or doing business in the town, are on the setts on market days they are immediately served with a contravention ticket and fined.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “Civil parking enforcement is about the enforcement of parking restrictions and it is important that this enforcement is undertaken in a consistent manner.

“The Traffic Regulation Order for Skipton Market Place prohibits all vehicles from parking in the reserved area on market days and this is signed in accordance with the appropriate legislation.

“There is no scope for local discretion in terms of civil enforcement officers deciding when and when not to enforce restrictions and in any case this would lead to confusion among motorists.

“The only exception to this is that it has been agreed with the town council, who manage the market, that on market days when there are high winds traders can park their vehicles adjacent to their stalls to protect them from the wind.”

Comments (6)

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12:22pm Thu 20 Feb 14

bettyswollocks says...

Confusion to motorists? Isn't what constitutes a "high wind" likely to cause confusion?

That comment backs up Robert Heseltine's view that it's one rule for one and a different rule for others.
Confusion to motorists? Isn't what constitutes a "high wind" likely to cause confusion? That comment backs up Robert Heseltine's view that it's one rule for one and a different rule for others. bettyswollocks
  • Score: 5

8:35pm Thu 20 Feb 14

White Rhino says...

If the traders do not turn up then it is good manners to let people park, if not then they should bollard them off or it is entrapment. Expecting people to read small notices is ridiculous, visitors are getting badly hit as locals know, it does give the town a bad name.
If the traders do not turn up then it is good manners to let people park, if not then they should bollard them off or it is entrapment. Expecting people to read small notices is ridiculous, visitors are getting badly hit as locals know, it does give the town a bad name. White Rhino
  • Score: 4

12:50am Fri 21 Feb 14

John wh says...

To quote fom your aticle, “There is no scope for local discretion in terms of civil enforcement officers deciding when and when not to enforce restrictions and in any case this would lead to confusion among motorists."

If this is so there should be no exception for traders
To quote fom your aticle, “There is no scope for local discretion in terms of civil enforcement officers deciding when and when not to enforce restrictions and in any case this would lead to confusion among motorists." If this is so there should be no exception for traders John wh
  • Score: 9

1:01am Fri 21 Feb 14

John wh says...

The condition of the setts is very poor. Stones are loose, missing, have large deep gaps between them and are becoming a hazard to pedestrians. In this litigious society it will be interesting to discover who will be sued in the event of an accident.
The condition of the setts is very poor. Stones are loose, missing, have large deep gaps between them and are becoming a hazard to pedestrians. In this litigious society it will be interesting to discover who will be sued in the event of an accident. John wh
  • Score: 2

12:44pm Tue 25 Feb 14

willow_wanderer says...

The high street is getting ridiculous - traders frequently park so badly - regardless of "high wind" or not all day reducing the two lanes to one useable lane, even parking in a way to reduce the castle roundabout to one lane, and there is a line of vehicles parked outside Natwest and the shops along there all day making it dangerous for pedestrians to cross as drivers attentions are torn multiple ways.

They need to introduce proper, safe area's for disabled people to park, stopping them from abandoning their cars on the road, and enforce the same parking rules on the traders as normal drivers- let them unload and load by all means, but then the van should be moved to a proper space.
The high street is getting ridiculous - traders frequently park so badly - regardless of "high wind" or not all day reducing the two lanes to one useable lane, even parking in a way to reduce the castle roundabout to one lane, and there is a line of vehicles parked outside Natwest and the shops along there all day making it dangerous for pedestrians to cross as drivers attentions are torn multiple ways. They need to introduce proper, safe area's for disabled people to park, stopping them from abandoning their cars on the road, and enforce the same parking rules on the traders as normal drivers- let them unload and load by all means, but then the van should be moved to a proper space. willow_wanderer
  • Score: 7

12:12am Fri 14 Mar 14

Trader2014 says...

You say there are rules for one and not for another - what about the fact that
the traders have paid rent and consent fees to be on the High St Setts. Do you pay for parking on the setts all day? I don't think so!
You say there are rules for one and not for another - what about the fact that the traders have paid rent and consent fees to be on the High St Setts. Do you pay for parking on the setts all day? I don't think so! Trader2014
  • Score: -1

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