Traffic wardens still on patrol during lockdown
Shoppers and residents are being warned that despite the lockdown, traffic wardens are still patrolling Amble, and are likely to issue tickets, after an independent business on Queen Street came close to being fined.
On May 26, staff working in the Premier Convenience Store on Queen Street, noticed the traffic warden taking a photo of their delivery vehicle and about to issue a ticket. They ran out to explain that they are delivering to the vulnerable and those socially isolating all through the lockdown. But the warden insisted that this was not a valid excuse.
Jonathan May who works in the store, told The Ambler that their car and van were parked on Cross Street for loading. “We saw the traffic warden on the camera. I went out and told him that we had parked there as we are running a free delivery service for our community, and that we needed them there to load our vehicles, as it’s next to our rear entrance. He then told us we weren’t allowed to park there as it doesn’t work like that, although I’m pretty sure loading is allowed on single yellow lines.”
Other businesses were angered at what they felt was unnecessary activity from the county council department, during such unprecedented times.
James Leighton from The Galley who are selling take away food and also providing free deliveries described what he saw. “We were out the back when the traffic warden came along and began to issue a ticket to the Premier van, while they were loading what is essential supplies for our local residents. Myself and the Premier as well as the retailers in the fruit and veg shop all have a good understanding of each others needs for coming and going, and we work well around each other. I feel the traffic warden’s actions and the manner he carried out his duty really let down the community spirit which had been demonstrated in Amble by business owners and residents alike.”
The topic of traffic wardens and parking on Queen Street has long been an issue for small businesses in the town centre.
Chair of Amble Business Club Ann Burke said: “I was not surprised to see the traffic warden was back in Amble. The small businesses on Queen Street have worked 24/7 to bring a service to the vulnerable during lockdown in the area. We are still locked down and still have vulnerable people. How great that the traffic warden is currently a thorn in the side of the people supporting the community.”
Kevin Rutherford, owner of the Queen Street Convenience Store said “I know we are technically not correct in parking in that location, but given the current circumstances and the way we are operating, I was looking for some common sense understanding. Apparently they haven’t been enforcing the single yellows until yesterday, although parking on the street is also apparently unlimited at present.”
Northumberland County Council were asked for clarification on the parking situation on and around Queen Street during the lockdown, but have not yet replied.