An influx of traffic wardens in Epworth is scaring away visitors and killing trade, claim shopkeepers.
Angry traders based around the centre of the Isle town say new, constant patrols by two “over-officious” wardens are taking a toll.
Dilys Oldfield of Wesley Antiques in Market Place, told the Bells: “There’s much too much presence. We now see wardens here every day and we’re such a small place you can’t miss them prowling around.
“It’s definitely affecting trade. On Tuesday last week I took absolutely nothing in the shop, yet on the same date last year I took over £300.
“It’s not just me saying it. everyone is of the same opinion.”
She added: “It breaks my heart to see it. There were no wardens around on Saturday for the first time in a while and takings shot up. Everyone experienced the same.
“We tiny businesses are struggling enough with the downturn. There are no green shoots round here, whatever the politicians may say.
“We need help not hindrance.”
The antiques seller said she has approached the leader of North Lincolnshire Council, Liz Redfern, about the issue, asking for “unnecessary” warden time in Epworth to be decreased, and the effect upon businesses to be taken in to account.
Her concerns were echoed by Pam Thrussell of Something Special on Albion Hill, who said: “It’s just been ridiculous. I’ve seen two wardens on every day in the past week, and they’re over keen. People are getting tickets if even the bumper of their car is seen to be in the wrong place. I’ve seen working vans booked while tradespeople have answered calls, and know of at least two people who are appealing against fines they feel to be unfair.
“We feel mad at the council. They want us to pay our business rates yet put our customers off. I’ve been here 25 years and I’ve never known this before - it’s like a purge on Epworth.”
A North Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: “There are 10 civil enforcement officers at the council who cover all areas of North Lincolnshire on a rota basis. We haven’t received complaints about parking restrictions in Epworth. If anyone would like to discuss this, they can contact the Highways team on 01724 297000 and they will take peoples’ views into consideration.”