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Tom Blakemore, of GH Porter Provisions, and Alison Gates, of The Loft, in Newark Market Place, stunned by parking ticket problem

Traders in Newark town centre have appealed for support after being given parking tickets while loading their vans to make home deliveries.

Tom Blakemore, of GH Porter Provisions, in Newark Market Place, said he had received countless tickets since launching his delivery service during the pandemic.

Tom Blakemore, owner of Porter Provisions, with parking tickets he has received when loading his van. (44414115)
Tom Blakemore, owner of Porter Provisions, with parking tickets he has received when loading his van. (44414115)

And Alison Gates, owner of The Loft, also in the Market Place, said she had experienced similar problems.

“We had a spate of, what felt like, targeted ticketing, which started during lockdown,” said Mr Blakemore.

“We had a lot while trying to operate our home delivery service.”

He said he paid out more than £200 in tickets last week.

“I have previously had permits by Newark and Sherwood District Council, but they have now refused to issue one for what seems to be no real reason,” he said.

“I requested a 30-minute permit and they refused because I had abused the last one as my car had been spotted here overnight,” he said.

“The issue with that is I live ten miles away. It was a case of mistaken identity.

“I have been here for seven years and I have had a number of permits but each year the permits get stricter.”

Alison Gates said: “We have had to adapt and, with deliveries, we obviously need to load the items into the car.

“We try to get as close as we can to the shop, and it might be that sometimes we can get outside the shop and other occasions we have to park at the loading bay.

“I have been ticketed outside the shop, which I contested and won, but I am now waiting for an appeal for the loading bay ticket.

“We try to offer this service to continue our business because if not, we might as well close completely.

“People have different shopping habits now and shopping online is one of those habits, so we are trying to keep the business alive.”

Keith Girling, chairman of the council’s economic development committee, said traders in Newark Market Place were permitted to load and unload goods before 10am and after 4pm, and could apply for dispensation to permit loading and unloading during the restricted times.

“During restricted times it is advised that all loading and unloading be carried out as quickly as possible and vehicles should be removed from the area afterwards,” he said.

“This is to ensure the safety of residents as well as permitting businesses to operate as required. This also ensures a fair approach to all businesses — it would be impossible for each retailer to come and go, and park outside of their premises, as they wish during shop opening times in a pedestrianised area. If anyone is in breach of these accessible loading times, parking enforcement officers will issue fixed penalty notices.

“Officers from the district council and county councilhave met and spoken with Mr Blakemore on numerous occasions.

“He has been offered, and accepted, generous additional dispensations to allow him to park for longer periods of time outside his premises.

“However, parking enforcement officers have evidence that Mr Blakemore was using this additional time to park his vehicle while he went about his own business in town and, by doing so, exceeded the additional time allowed to him.

“Mr Blackmore received a fixed penalty notice for this.

“I understand how difficult it is for businesses right now and the council is doing everything it possibly can to help them but this has to be done in a fair and equal way.

“We want to work with our residents and business owners and we are only acting in the best interests of all our residents and all our retailers.

“An additional dispensation has already been offered again to Mr Blackmore permitting him access to load and unload, so I’m incredibly disappointed that we find ourselves in this situation again.”

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