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Anger over parking tickets in Tewkesbury during floods

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

Progress:  Motorists driving through flood water on the Ashchurch Road

Progress: Motorists driving through flood water on the Ashchurch Road

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TRAFFIC wardens in Tewkesbury have been accused of lacking compassion after ticketing cars stranded due to flood water.

While some residents and businesses in the town have battled to prevent their premises from flooding, they have had to park their vehicles where they can.

But that has, at times, meant leaving them in areas not normally allowed.

Borough council traffic wardens have handed out a number of parking tickets as a result.

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It came as Gloucestershire County Council made a fund of £50,000 available for those worst affected by the floods.

Aggrieved motorists cannot understand why the rules are not temporarily suspended during the highest flooding in Tewkesbury since 2007.

Some feel the council is more interested in making money than helping people.

One town centre trader, who asked not to be identified, said he had received £50 tickets two days running this week and a colleague had received three tickets.

He admitted parking on the pavement, but said it was because other parking areas were flooded and he had left his car so it was not blocking the way for motorists or pedestrians.

He said: "I'm going to appeal against my tickets. Even a bit of common sense would have been nice. There's nowhere to park and yet the traffic warden told me she was not allowed to use discretion or common sense."

Town, borough and county councillor Mike Sztymiak called for normal parking rules to be relaxed in the floods.

He said: "If we don't, we're putting profit before the people. These are emergency times. Many of the roads have been flooded. Where are they going to park?"

The council rejected the call for the parking rules to be suspended.

Its director of development, Mella McMahon, said: "The recent flooding is causing parking difficulties for some residents and businesses so we have been in touch with our permit holders to let them know they can park in any available car park if their usual one is affected by the floods.

"As always, we must ensure that we act in the best interest of everyone and, given the reduced available parking as a result of the flooding, it is important that this it is carefully managed to ensure ongoing availability for residents, businesses and visitors."

Regarding the aggrieved trader, she said his car was parked illegally and was causing an obstruction.

As well as defending itself over parking, Tewkesbury Borough Council pointed out that it had provided more than 4,000 sandbags to help protect residents' homes and had visited people in vulnerable properties to see if they were okay.

Gloucestershire County Council announced that it was making £50,000 available to help those affected by flooding.

It said details of how people could get financial help would be released in the next few days.

Its leader, Councillor Mark Hawthorne, said: "Much of what we've seen over the last few days could have been a lot worse had we not invested since 2007.

"Unfortunately, around 50 properties in the county have flooded in the last few days."

Twigworth residents Val and Derek Lown were yesterday glad they had spent £1,000 on wrapping plastic flood defence sheeting around their home to keep the water out.

Not so lucky were Kelly and Ian Baikie, who were dealing with floodwater inside the Haw Bridge Inn close to the River Severn at Tirley.

Kelly said: "It is crazy when you think we are normally about 10 foot away from the river, it is set down quite low.

It has to come up and over the banks and then it is a good six foot over the road to get into the pub. That means the volume of water has to be huge.

"Normally you can only see the very edge of the river if you look from the window."

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  • DaveWade  |  January 27 2013, 11:42PM

    When you pay for a parking ticket you enter into a contract, so if you return late to your car you are legally subject to a penalty. But wait, if you pay your council tax, you are entering into a contract for services. Such as, collection of recycling waste. If TBC don't collect, due to their inability to cope with weather conditions, then it just seems to be your problem; tough luck. We then have to dispose of the waste at a recycling site in a parking area that is ungritted, and lethal to use. What about our Health and Safety? Parking is a revenue stream for TBC. They at least ought to exercise sensible discretion in enforcing parking regulations, or, use the income to make their expensive parking zones safe. At least when parked vehicles had snow on the windows they couldn't revel in issuing tickets..

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  • L804XDG  |  November 29 2012, 7:08PM

    I got a parking ticket in a recovery truck in 2007 whilst actually recovering a truck that was in flood water, we refused to pay it and it went to court, the council lost...

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  • reddavie  |  November 29 2012, 5:25PM

    As for Mella Mcmahon,i guess she doesn't have any trouble parking ,she can park in the nice FREE car park at the council offices,wilst everyone else has to pay to park to go to work.Same old same old.

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  • valhalla2010  |  November 29 2012, 3:30PM

    Ooooohhhh get you lot- pick on the Bentley driver, 'cos he's rich and therefor deserves it! Looking at that pic I wouldn't describe his driving as irresponsible at all. Get a life. And for your information, when driving through water you do keep a bow wave because it reduces the water level in the engine bay.

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  • chr1582  |  November 29 2012, 12:21PM

    the chap above has got a bentley so he's allowed to driver dangerously through floods, not care about other road users, pull out regardless from a junction, not use his indicators and the speed limit doesn't apply to him.

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  • taxidave1  |  November 29 2012, 11:59AM

    CfromGlos with coments like that we can only assume you are one of the idiots who go speeding through the floods. Creating a bow wave as you call it only increases the hight of the water at the front of your vehicle making it more likely you will flood your engine

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  • grumpyand50  |  November 29 2012, 11:35AM

    The driver shown is possibly going to fast as already stated, I am sure it used to be in the highway code, but can't find it Here's a link to a pamphlet that has about driving through floods http://tinyurl.com/bmntfm3

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  • CfromGlos  |  November 29 2012, 11:22AM

    "Looking at the picture where the guy is ploughing his way through the water clearly showing his car and numberplate perhaps the police could have a kindly letter sent out to him about how to drive in such conditions !!!! We have heard so much over the last few days where individuals like this have caused flooding in peoles homes due to thoughtless attitudes like his." Plouging his way through the water, surely that is exactly what you are supposed to do, i.e create a bow wave so that the water does not enter your air intake? Have actually had the need to drive through any floods? (as bad as these are!)

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  • chr1582  |  November 29 2012, 11:20AM

    I'm sorry, but regardless of the situation, if you're parked illegally then face a parking ticket! Yes som of the car parks may have been flooded but park somewhere else that's legal then! The high street wasn't flooded and has many spaces down there so if you have to drive round and wait for a space then so be it!

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  • somersetlad52  |  November 29 2012, 10:59AM

    Looking at the picture where the guy is ploughing his way through the water clearly showing his car and numberplate perhaps the police could have a kindly letter sent out to him about how to drive in such conditions !!!! We have heard so much over the last few days where individuals like this have caused flooding in peoles homes due to thoughtless attitudes like his.

    Rate   -7
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