December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Organisers of a hugely popular seaside art exhibition have blasted parking wardens for ticketing artists as they unloaded their work from their cars.
More than 20,000 people flocked to Felixstowe on Sunday for the 10th annual Art on the Prom festival, where around 100 artists showcased their talents.
But a number of exhibitors received fines for temporarily parking their vehicles on yellow lines as they set up early in the morning ahead of the event.
Witnesses said traffic wardens were patrolling the Spa Pavilion area and Undercliff Road West from 8.30am as artists parked up.
Organiser Mary Wyatt said she spoke to two people who were issued fines.
“We should not be targeted as a money-making event,” she blasted.
“It’s obvious what they’re doing – they’re trying to catch people out.
“People have got their doors open and their hazards lights on. They’re not taking that long to unload their paintings.
“It’s happened a lot over the last 10 years.”
Felixstowe resident Michael Flynn said he spotted two traffic wardens “running up and down”.
“They thought it was Christmas come early,” he said. “They couldn’t dish out their tickets quick enough. Common sense is not prevailing.”
Steven Littlejohn, of Trimley St Martin, turned up at 8.30am on Sunday with his wife Glynis to help her set up.
He said a car parked in a coach bay near the Spa Pavilion was ticketed.
He added: “They need to come to their senses as they are spoiling the event.”
Organiser Stephen Wyatt said they have asked for special arrangements in the past but the council had turned down their approaches.
“It is an event that brings in more than 20,000 people every year to Felixstowe – a lot of money is spent in the town,” he said.
“People are just parking for a short period of time. It seems unreasonable – people are not trying to get away with it.
“We will be taking it up again with our local councillors.”
A Suffolk Coastal spokesman said: “Vehicles at the Spa Pavilion car park were observed as both parked and unattended for a period of at least 10 minutes before being issued with charge notices.
“One other vehicle was left near the roundabout to the Spa Pavilion causing a potential obstruction.
“All the vehicles, other than one parked in the ‘Coaches Only’ bay, were parked on double yellow lines.
“It is really important, particularly on busy days such as these, that running lanes and turning areas of the car park are kept free from parked vehicles for the benefit of all users and the attendant simply had no choice other than to issue charge notices.”
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