TRADERS at Glebe Street in Penarth have said they were fined multiple times a week in the build up to Christmas by a new robotic camera system.

In September the Vale of Glamorgan Council introduced a camera car onto the streets across its town centres to catch people parking unlawfully, after traffic wardens said they found it “very difficult” to prevent people parking illegally in the region.

But traders in Penarth – mainly on Glebe Street – said they feel “kicked in the teeth” after being forced to park on double yellow lines outside their premises.

Marcus Lush, part-owner of David Lush Butchers, was fined four times in two weeks before Christmas for parking on double yellows while filling his delivery vehicle.

Penarth Times: Marcus LushMarcus Lush

“We’ve set up a delivery service in lockdown to keep us going and make sure we can still cater for our customers – many of whom are shielding, but it’s becoming impossible for us without getting fined,” Mr Lush explained.

“The problem is there are always cars parked illegally in our loading bay, so we have no choice but to go on the yellow lines to fill the vehicle, because we can’t transfer heavy produce from the shop to parking spaces up the road.

“Before this camera car came in it was fine. There were traffic wardens and they’d warn you to park elsewhere and we would.

Penarth Times: Vehicles are allowed to park in the loading bays after 12pmVehicles are allowed to park in the loading bays after 12pm

“But I wonder if this car is recognising that those privately-owned vehicles parked in our loading bay are also illegally parked. If they were moved on we wouldn’t have a problem.”

The council does not dispute that there are cars often parked illegally in the loading bays on Glebe Street, but says the camera car can differentiate between privately-owned cars and delivery vehicles.

On that street alone in December the council said 57 penalty charge notices were issued to privately-owned vehicles parked in the loading bay, while 230 notices were given on Windsor Road.

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Vehicles are allowed to park in loading bays after midday.

“It’s ridiculous how it’s unfolded,” Mr Lush added. “I feel we’re being punished for moving with the times, and when we’re at our busiest.

“We’re delivering to hundreds of people to pay off parking tickets.”

Alison Jones, owner of The Crepe Escape on Glebe Street, was fined four times in December, while she knows of two other fines given to her staff members.

Penarth Times: Alison Jones at The Crepe EscapeAlison Jones at The Crepe Escape

“We have started a delivery service and we have to go on the yellow lines very briefly because we don’t have a loading bay,” she said.

“It’s literally out there for minutes while I put the deliveries into the car, but we seem to always get fined.

“The difficulty for me is that I can’t see a way around it because there’s nowhere to park around here that’s close enough.

“Some of the platters we’ve got are huge and we can’t carry them far.

“We’re doing deliveries for £30 sometimes but then coming back to a £35 fine.

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“I’m not a negative person and I want to work with the council and be positive, but we need to find a solution or some sort of leniency.

“When you appeal it goes to a company in North Wales that doesn’t understand the town.

“We’re all trying to adapt and be flexible and continue to serve our customers the best we can, but it does feel like a kick in the teeth.”

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: “The Council launched its Civil Parking Enforcement Camera Car in September to help enforcement officers deal with problem parking.

Penarth Times: Council camera enforcement vehicle. Picture: Vale of Glamorgan CouncilCouncil camera enforcement vehicle. Picture: Vale of Glamorgan Council

“The car identifies parking offences, including vehicles parked on school keep clear zones, pedestrian crossings, goods vehicle loading only bays, areas with waiting and loading restrictions, clearways, bus stop clearways and taxi ranks.

“There are loading bays available for all businesses in this area of Penarth to use and robust enforcement action has taken place in an effort to ensure they are available for this purpose.

“In December, 57 Penalty Charge Notices were issued for misuse of the goods vehicle loading only bay on Glebe Street and 230 for the same contravention in the goods vehicle loading only bays on Windsor Road.

“Council Officers are shortly planning to visit traders in Penarth to discuss, understand and offer advice on the issues that they have with the current parking and enforcement arrangements.”