BRITS on one of the UK’s most ticketed high streets have slammed their council after years of forking out excessive parking fines.
Motorists on Brentwood High Street in Essex are slapped with thousands of penalties every year – and say there are “extortionate” daily parking costs just to avoid them.
Amid the cost of living crisis which continues to see bills skyrocket across the country, shoppers in the town say their main street has been plagued by costly parking disputes.
Peri Sinclair, the owner of a local print shop, said locals are forced into either paying the huge parking prices or risk getting caught out by eager wardens.
Peri said: “They don’t even give me a space for my shop – it definitely hurts my bank account, its just extortionate money.”
“I think parking is one of Brentwood’s downfalls,” she added.
Lorraine, 50, said the situation was “disgusting” as she has to pay over £8 a day to avoid being slapped with a fine when working on the high street.
She said: “We work in shops, all on pretty much minimum wage, and it’s a big percentage of our wages just to not even get a ticket.
“The council are always coming for more tickets and you have no choice but to pay. I think they are really greedy.
“It has really damaged the main high street, a lot of the main shops have gone.”
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“And the wardens are really quick. It makes you think twice about working here.”
Lorraine’s co-worker Victoria, 25, said she even racks up around three parking tickets per week.
More than 3,300 fines have been handed out along Brentwood High Street over the past year, landing the council over £80,500 – according to a Freedom of Information request by the LDRS.
A spokesperson for Brentwood Borough Council said in a statement to Brentwood Live: “There is 30 minutes free parking in our Brentwood High Street area car parks, which we encourage people to
use if they need to pop to the High Street.”
But locals have said forceful ticket wardens are actually far quicker, often slapping them with a fine after no time at all.
“We pulled up for literally less than five minutes, and he’s given us a ticket,” said Anthony, 32, who had pulled into a disabled bay to unload as he is currently on crutches.
“I can’t even tell you how quick it was. We must have come out and was here within 5 seconds.
“He saw I was on crutches. I said sorry can I just move it instead of giving me a ticket – he didn’t even give me a second to try and move.”
They’re just jobsworths.
People in the shopping hub’s local food market claimed that the high numbers of street parking fines has affected the number of customers they see walking past their stall in the street.
Market stall holder John, 78, said: “We have lost a little bit of parking traffic, yeah.
“We got a ticket the other day, they gave me a ticket just for unloading – the guy just said ‘it’s not my job’.
“They’re just jobsworths.”
Will, 18, a waiter in a popular restaurant on the high street, said: “They’ve just got a power trip as fake police officers. They’re wondering all up and down all the time.
“It is a bit excessive. I want to know what they’re investing it into.”
Boutique shop French Quarter owner Lin agreed, adding: “With retail being the way it is at the moment, we need all the support we can get!”
And local hairdresser Yasmin, 28, said: “We pay £8 a day, which is over £150 per month and we still always get tickets.
“I feel like we put into the community, we make the council money, and they’re not even willing to reduce the parking.
“It’s been going on for years.”