'OVERZEALOUS' council parking enforcers are driving people away from the town centre, a resident has claimed

But Oswestry Town Council is looking for a more "common sense" approach by taking over full control of parking enforcement from Shropshire County Council.

Dennis Evans, 67, told how a Shropshire Council enforcement officer observed his car parked for one minute outside Poundland on Cross Street on a Sunday morning.

He said: “When I read it (the parking ticket) I just couldn’t believe it.

"We weren’t causing a traffic jam or anything like that, we were parked on the side of the road, cars were going past and there were no problems as far as I could see.

"It’s just that they were overzealous.”

Mr Evans claimed that a traffic warden had told him previously that he was allowed to park there, and that other vehicles were parked in the street.

Mr Evans added: “My honest opinion is that it’s going to drive people away from shopping in Oswestry."

He added that he was heard of traders being booked for unloading goods outside their premises, which he branded “completely incredible”.

Mr Evans said that he believed the road was open on Sunday and added that there were no double yellow lines.

A Shropshire Council parking enforcement officer was observed parking outside a loading bay from 10.16 to 10.17am on May 20.

Mr Evans had paid the £35 fine, which would have risen to £70 if not paid within a 28 days.

Grant Tunnadine, Shropshire Council’s investigation, compliance and intervention team manager, said: “Cross Street forms part of a restricted zone which prohibits the parking of vehicles at any time, or the loading or unloading of goods except in the marked bays.

“In addition, this road is closed to all traffic from Monday through to Saturday between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Large signage on the entry to Cross Street is clearly on display advising motorists of the restrictions applicable, and there are restriction repeater plates at intervals along Cross Street.

“The vehicle in question was unaccompanied, not parked within a marked bay, and was positioned next to one of the repeater plates.

“Since the vehicle was in clear contravention of the Traffic Regulation Order a PCN was issued to the vehicle.”

Oswestry Town Council is set for discussions with Shropshire County Council to take over full parking enforcement.

Cllr Chris Schofield presented a motion calling for the council to seek discussions to take over both on and off street enforcement for the town.

He added: "Let's stop the overzealous county enforcement officers and get a more common sense approach."

The councillor questioned whether enforcement officers needed to be out to book people on Sunday or at 7.30 in the morning.

The meeting heard that the town council already had two enforcement officers, while Shropshire Council employs 11 and deploys them on an intelligence-led basis.

Cllr Duncan Kerr called the motion a "commendable concept" and said that he would support if it eliminates duplication.

The meeting cited traders being ticketed for parking outside their businesses for a short time to unload, and that a small time frame could be used before insisting the vehicles are moved.

Cllr Schofield said he had spoken to Shropshire Council and believed they would be receptive to the idea.

Mayor of Oswestry, Cllr Sandy Best, said she had no problem with the idea of taking over parking enforcement.

But she added: "Basically what you would be doing is relieving Shropshire Council of some responsibility and cost and taking it on ourselves - and that is what is something that I think would have to be looked into."

A Shropshire Council spokesman said: “We have received an email from Oswestry Town Council with a request for parking enforcement to be transferred to them. We’ll now consider this request.”