Motorists beware! New parking restrictions introduced in St Albans city centre

Double yellow lines are painted along Market Place in order to stop people parking in unmarked bays

Double yellow lines are painted along Market Place in order to stop people parking in unmarked bays - Credit: Archant

Double yellow lines have been put down as a temporary measure in a city centre road this week.

For several months, parking restrictions in Market Place and Spencer Street, St Albans, have not been enforced after the district council discovered that its signage did not conform to the prescribed format.

To correct it requires approval from the Department for Transport (DfT) which is currently finalising new legislation.

But the free-for-all has led to problems for retailers as well as obstruction difficulties.

This week, the council’s head of legal services, Mike Lovelady, apologised for the problems caused by the non-enforcement of parking regulations in the two roads.

He said the current Traffic Regulation Order allowed the council to paint and enforce double yellow lines and lining was put down as a temporary measure in Market Place on Wednesday night.

Enforcement began on Thursday morning to enable traffic to move freely in Market Place.

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Local traders have been concerned about the situation since before Christmas, particularly the impact on delivery vehicles trying to get their premises.

They have criticised wardens for doing nothing as both vans and cars have struggled to get past parked vehicles and were concerned about what would have happened if the fire brigade or an ambulance had needed to get through.

Mr Lovelady said that a new Traffic Order would be promoted to correct the parking bays once the new legislation on signing and lining from the DfT was in place.

He also said that the council had obtained external legal advice about the situation for people who had paid penalty charge notices in the two roads in the past which had established that they were not entitled to a refund.

* Motorists parking in Market Place this week were surprised to find warning notices on their vehicles saying they were parked in disabled bays - although they weren’t.

The warning said civil enforcement officers were patrolling the area and they might receive a penalty charge notice.

But a spokesperson for the council admitted that they were only advisory notices “to appeal to the good nature of drivers”.