Council defends parking ticket for flood-hit Shrewsbury business owner

Shropshire Council has defended sending parking wardens out to flood-hit areas after an affected business owner was slapped with a ticket.

Shrewsbury was hit by major flooding late on Thursday evening.
Shrewsbury was hit by major flooding late on Thursday evening.

The owner of a bridal shop in Shrewsbury said she was “absolutely gutted” to have been issued with a fine and said the council should be supporting traders dealing with the floods rather than adding to their misery.

Stephanie Garrington had parked in Bridge Street Car Park on Friday to get to work pumping out the basement of her shop, Bridal Reloved Shrewsbury, at Lane's Hill.

She said: “We were in such a fluster when we saw our basement was flooded that we didn’t even think about parking.

“I’m also 39 weeks pregnant and when I asked the attendant about why tickets are being given today, he said, ‘How am I supposed to know you have a business or are pregnant?’ and was actually just generally really unsympathetic on a really tough day.

“Our basement is under nine foot of water. As if small businesses haven’t had it hard enough and we are not even earning a penny right now.”

Sympathised

The council said while it sympathised with people affected by the flooding it was important to maintain parking enforcement for road safety reasons.

Frances Darling, trading standards and licensing operations manager, said: “The flooding that has affected businesses is, of course, awful and comes at a time when businesses are already under significant pressure as a result of Covid-19.

“Nevertheless, there remains a need to ensure motorists do not park in an unsafe manner that would add to the seriousness of the flooding situation or increase the risk for other motorists and any pedestrians, including those with mobility difficulties, visual impairments or those pushing buggies with children and babies.”

Ms Garrington said she would be appealing the ticket. She said: “Where I was parked was absolutely not unsafe and would not contribute to the seriousness of the flooding situation or pose a risk to anyone else.”

When asked whether tickets issued to flooded business owners would be cancelled, the council said it was not appropriate to make a “blanket decision”, but said anyone who felt a ticket had been wrongly issued could appeal through the normal appeals process.

Ms Darling added: “An assurance can be given that each challenge will be independently reviewed and a decision made on the merits of each individual situation.

“This ensures all motorists are treated fairly in a consistent and transparent manner and that we maintain the integrity of the parking enforcement regime.”

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