The owner of a Westgate takeaway says that parking fines are ruining his business.
Mahmut Boztemir opened Pizza Hot in Westgate six years ago but is worried that ‘overzealous’ parking wardens are going to drive him out of town.
He said: “Our drivers receive parking tickets atleast once a week, normally when they have quickly parked outside the shop to pick up some pizzas to deliver as there are never any available parking spaces nearby.”
But it is not just parking in Westgate that is causing a problem.
Mahmut added: “My drivers have even been hit with fines when out delivering the pizzas. Last month, another driver received a parking ticket on Finkin Street as he delivered a pizza. I can’t expect my drivers to pay the fines so it falls to me. I have appealed three times but it costs each time, so I can’t afford to keep appealing every one we get.”
Mahmut claims the Mid-Lent fair last month also had a big impact on his business.
He said: “I lost five days of business when the fair was here and I had to hire two extra delivery drivers to try and cover some of the costs. How is that fair for us businesses?”
When Mahmut opened Pizza Hot six years ago, business as good, but he is worried that he could now be forced to look for alternative premises, if the parking situation does not improve soon.
He said: “When we first opened six years ago, we had both a delivery and collection service, but for the past five years, we have had no collection service whatsoever with the exception of the odd Friday and Saturday night. Customers just don’t come to collect anymore, as they struggle to find a car parking space nearby.
“I have worked very hard for six years but the situation is getting worse by the day.
Matt Jones, parking services manager, said: “The ticket on Finkin Street was issued after the vehicle was parked for 50 minutes in a 30-minute bay. The same vehicle received tickets after it was left in limited parking bays in Westgate and Marketplace for well over an hour, and for stopping on a single yellow line in Elmer Street North for almost 10 minutes with no sign of any loading or unloading.
“Limited parking bays are designed so that people can park for a short time in order to use local shops and services. If we ignored those parking for longer, undoubtedly cars would be left there all day, and there really would be nowhere for people to park.
“If someone feels they have been unfairly ticketed, it can be easily appealed and at no cost.”