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'Zero tolerance' on illegal parking warning as 100 drivers are caught out

PUBLISHED: 10:30 13 February 2019

The shared space in Felixstowe town centre Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

The shared space in Felixstowe town centre Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

Archant

Felixstowe's new PCSO dealt with more than 100 parking offences in his first month on the beat around the town centre - and is warning there will be a "zero tolerance" to those caught.

One of the parking signs in the shared space area in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe Picture: SIMON PARKEROne of the parking signs in the shared space area in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe Picture: SIMON PARKER

Officer Ben Sagi handed out most of his earliest tickets to disabled drivers parked in the wrong place in Hamilton Road – and says it has become apparent that many Blue Badge holders don’t know the rules.

In the Hamilton Road shared space area between Boots and Bank Corner disabled drivers are allowed to park – but only in the black-paved areas. Park anywhere else and they will get a fine.

PCSO Sagi, whose wages are paid by Felixstowe Town Council from money from Felixstowe taxpayers, said: “I noticed that many of the drivers I spoke to claimed that they were not aware of the rules or felt they could park anywhere.”

He said parking outside the black zones – and the same applies to anyone, Blue Badge holder or not, who park outside Barclays Bank and on that side of the road all the way down to Bent Hill – is the same as parking on a double yellow line.

One of the black-paved parking bays for Blue Badge holders - they must not park in any other part of Hamilton Road between Boots and Bank Corner Picture: LUCY TAYLOROne of the black-paved parking bays for Blue Badge holders - they must not park in any other part of Hamilton Road between Boots and Bank Corner Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Even though there are no lines, there are signs saying “Restricted Zone” and “No Loading at any time”.

PCSO Sagi designed and produced a leaflet explaining the parking in the restricted zone and shared space and has placed this on a number of offending cars with a written warning.

He said: “From a distance this looks like a fixed penalty notice and has a visual impact for drivers and members of the public. I have received lots of support from motorists and members of the public who have welcomed the enforcement of parking and the visual presence.”

In December, he dealt with 104 parking offences – the vast majority in Hamilton Road, but also others in Penfold Road, Stanley Road and Victoria Street – and issued 18 fixed penalty notices, 77 written warnings and nine verbal warnings.

Parking is a major problem in the 20mph shared space zone in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe Picture: RICHARD CORNWELLParking is a major problem in the 20mph shared space zone in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

His message to motorists is: “Please pay attention to the signs and lines when parking.

“In Hamilton Road parking is not permitted anywhere other than the black signed bays which are for loading and disabled badge holders only. There are no yellow lines; however, the restriction is the same as double yellow lines and double kerb marking.

“The restriction applies on Hamilton Road between Cobbold Road and the bottom of Bent Hill. Vehicles found parked illegally may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

“There will be a zero tolerance approach to illegal parking in Felixstowe.

“Schools will also receive a visit at least once a week either in the morning or afternoon. Any parking offences will be dealt with at the time.”

Parking can be dealt with in a number of ways. Most parking offences carry a £30 Fixed Penalty. The proceeds of the fixed penalty notices go straight to the Government Treasury and do not go to the council or the police.

They can also be dealt with using a written warning which is recorded locally by the officer and if the same offence is repeated a ticket could be issued. If the motorist is in the vehicle they can be asked to move on but if they fail to do so they will be committing an offence.

PCSO Sagi works within the local policing team and remain directly accountable to the local sergeant, who liaises with Felixstowe Town Council – which is paying £68,000 for the PCSO over the next two years – on a regular basis to identify local priorities to ensure ongoing community needs are being met.

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