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WARWICKSHIRE: Opposition to parking changes

WARWICKSHIRE: Opposition to parking changes

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Some North Warwickshire residents could be breaking the law if they vacuum out their cars according to a councillor unhappy with new parking regulations set to be introduced across the borough.

Under the new legislation approved at this week’s [MON] meeting of North Warwickshire Council’s resources board, it will be an offence to carry out repairs or clean a vehicle when it is in a public car park apart from if it is essential to driving it away.

Cllr Neil Dirveiks (Lab, Atherstone Central) explained that for some people, a public car park was the only place for them to leave their cars.

He said: Some residents do not have any parking spaces – if they were to enforce this they would be breaking the law if they cleaned the windscreen or emptied an ashtray. For many years people carried out repairs to their vehicles and there doesn’t seem to be any exception here.

“We should make a provision that people in that position can actually legally do their work. There are places all across the borough where their parking spaces are right next to their house on a car park.”

Cllr David Reilly (Con, Water Orton) said there had to be consistency with all car parks across the borough if the policy changes were introduced.

And Cllr David Humphreys (Con, Newton Regis and Warton) added: “This is a car park – not a forecourt, not a garage. Some of these people who fix cars take forever. I have sympathy but this is a car park and not a private drive.”

The changes will also see the end to all day free parking in council-owned car parks. Instead, drivers will benefit from two hours free parking but then be charged £2 for three hours.

Blue badge holders will have three hours of free parking which Cllr Dirveiks felt was insufficient, adding: “I think we should be continuing with the rule that blue badge holders do not pay parking charges.”

But Cllr Marian Humphreys (Con, Newton Regis and Warton), herself a blue badge user, said: “I really feel that three hours is a long time to park and that we should be paying towards parking. Most of the blue badge holders that I know – even when we go to hospitals – pay to park. I really don’t see that everyone should have everything for free all the time.”

The new parking regulations were approved by a majority vote with the Labour opposition voting against.

Words: David Lawrence, Local Democracy Reporter

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