Romford Market Place is worst for fines

MOTORISTS using market-free days in Romford for a quick bit of shopping are picking up more than they bargained for, according to parking ticket figures.

Market Place in the town centre is the biggest grossing spot for fines in Havering, gifting more than �34,000 to council coffers last year. It’s the 19th highest spot in London.

The previous year the area raised �40,072 and so far in 2010/2011 wardens have handed out �24,000 worth of fines.

Many of the borough’s worst areas for drivers are car parks including the one at the Town Hall.

Angel Way, off the High Street, is another blackspot, raking in more than �46,000 in the past two years.

Charles Hilder, 58, was caught out when he tried to unload some goods for his daughter’s shop in South Street, despite putting a sign in his car.

He said: “There used to be an old boy who worked here and he used common sense and moved people on when necessary. But these people don’t do that.

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“I put a sign in the window, saying I was unloading – what else are you supposed to do? I appealed it and they said I would have to pay but I threatened to take it further and they cancelled in the end. What happened to common sense?”

Other roads swelling council coffers by thousands of pounds include Corbets Tey Road in Upminster, Balgores Crescent in Gidea Park and The Mews, off St Edward’s Way.

Romford chairman of the National Federation of Market Traders, Tony Geary, said traders are well aware of the regulations and rarely fall foul of them – unlike many shoppers.

He said: “People don’t read the signs. It’s laziness really, people park up and run into TJ Hughes or Argos without using the car parks and come out to find they have got a parking ticket.”

A council spokesman said: “Market Place is the most used and largest of our surface car parks, therefore more parking tickets are likely to be issued than in the smaller car parks. It is a well publicised and signposted pay-and-display car park.“