Yellow lines spell trouble for garage

A CAR sales company which has parked vehicles outside its showroom for 10 years has said it may no longer be able to trade after a police community support officer (PCSO) started issuing tickets. St Ives Town Council will decide today (Wednesday) whether

A CAR sales company which has parked vehicles outside its showroom for 10 years has said it may no longer be able to trade after a police community support officer (PCSO) started issuing tickets.

St Ives Town Council will decide today (Wednesday) whether to ask Cambridgeshire County Council to change the parking system for such businesses.

Fran Cars is in The Quadrant in St Ives town centre and double yellow lines surround the showroom. However, owner Francis Margot said cars are sometimes temporarily parked on the yellow lines when the showroom is being rearranged.

He said police had in the past turned a blind eye, but not any more.

Mr Margot told The Hunts Post. "After many years of a trouble-free operation, in August we received three parking tickets while rearranging the showroom, and in September we received another ticket for obstruction. We have never obstructed the pavement.

"We always allow room for a wheelchair or double buggy. I have paid all the tickets but it is a big worry. If this carries on, our business will be impossible."

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He added: "There has been a garage here for over 50 years. We need to park outside when we want to move cars around the showroom or show a customer a car."

Ted Bocking, town clerk of St Ives, said the item was on the council agenda for tonight's (Wednesday) meeting of the planning committee. The council would decide whether to write to Cambridgeshire County Council and ask for the situation to be changed, for example, for the business to be allowed one-hour parking outside their premises. However, he added that this would mean members of the public were also permitted to park there.

A spokesman for the county council said: "We would look at any recommendation made by the town council. We are happy to review the situation."

Inspector Angus NcNeil said: "Policing parking in this area of St Ives is a balancing act between the needs of the residents, Fran Cars as a business, the town and district councils and the law.

"We understand that Fran cars needs to reorganise its showroom at times and so it is a necessity for them to leave cars on the double yellow lines for a reasonable amount of time only. However, where cars have been left on the lines for an unreasonable amount of time, the law will be enforced.

"There have been a number of complaints by residents surrounding the parking issues in this area where residents feel Fran Cars has been parking cars for an unreasonable amount of time on this one-way street. We are working in partnership with the town and district councils to solve these issues.

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