‘Ticket-happy traffic wardens ruining Buxton’

Driven to despair, Keith Martin
Driven to despair, Keith Martin

Ticket-happy traffic wardens are driving people away and ruining the town, a long-standing Buxton businessman has claimed.

Keith Martin, who runs Bells Shoes, is so incensed at the constant problems he has suffered with parking outside his South Avenue premises that he is relocating his business to one of the town’s industrial estates.

“Parking fines, zero tolerance policies and ticket-happy traffic wardens are ruining our town, our businesses and turning away visitors,” he said. “This threatens the survival of our shops and hotels and drives away shoppers and visitors, the very life-blood of our survival as a market town and holiday destination.

“People who visit won’t remember having a lovely day, all they’ll remember is that when they got back to the car park, they had a parking ticket.

“The time has come to make the local and county authorities aware of the feelings of the local community and to review the policies before it is too late.”

Despite buying several parking permits from High Peak Borough Council, Keith and his staff have received numerous parking tickets over the last couple of years, some of which he has successfully overturned. But he is concerned that other local businesses could be suffering because of the strict enforcement regime.

“You can’t run a business without looking over your shoulder every minute,” he said. “Someone has said to me about the opera house, they’ve seen traffic wardens at ten to eight (at night) ticketing cars outside there. That can’t be right.

“Disabled people can have three hours parking outside here. They can go to a restaurant, see friends or do a bit of shopping and that is fair enough but we are running a business and we only get five minutes to load or unload or we get a £35 fine.

“I’ve got 24 people working here so when we move, it will have an effect on the local businesses because they all go into the shops.”

A spokesperson for High Peak Borough Council said: “The council employs Civil Enforcement Officers throughout the High Peak to help manage traffic flow and reduce congestion so that people can get to and from their destinations safely and in good time in order to support local businesses and ensure the area remains attractive to shoppers and visitors.

“These officers perform a valuable role as, whilst vehicles may be parked for a short time only, this can have a big impact on pedestrians and other road users.”