Furious motorists were up in arms today after traffic wardens ticketed their cars – which were left stranded in flood water.
Residents of Tewkesbury, Glos., were forced to abandon their vehicles after a deluge of water flooded the streets and homes following the heavy rain which swept across the west.
But uncompassionate traffic wardens began handing out £50 fines to motorists after the cars were deemed to have been parked illegally – despite the fact the floods left them no where else to go.
One town centre trader, who did not want to be identified, said he had received tickets two days running and a colleague had received three.
He admitted parking on the pavement, but said it was because other parking areas were flooded.
He added that he had deliberately left his car so it was not blocking the way for other motorists or pedestrians.
He said: “I’m going to appeal against my tickets. Even a bit of common sense would have been nice.
“There’s nowhere to park and yet the traffic warden told me she was not allowed to use discretion or common sense.”
Aggrieved motorists cannot understand why the rules have not been temporarily suspended after flood levels hit the highest they have been since 2007.
Mike Sztymiak, a town, borough and county councillor also reinforced the call to relax the normal parking rules during the floods.
He said: “If we don’t, we’re putting profit before the people. These are emergency times. Many of the roads have been flooded. Where are they going to park?”
But Tewkesbury Borough Council rejected the call and stated that other parking had been made available for those affected.
Mella McMahon, the council’s director of development, said: “The recent flooding is causing parking difficulties for some residents and businesses so we have been in touch with our permit holders to let them know they can park in any available car park if their usual one is affected by the floods.
“As always, we must ensure that we act in the best interest of everyone and, given the reduced available parking as a result of the flooding, it is important that this it is carefully managed to ensure ongoing availability for residents, businesses and visitors.”
The council added that they had provided more than 4,000 sandbags to help protect residents’ homes and had visited people in vulnerable properties to see if they were okay.
Gloucestershire County Council also announced that it was making £50,000 available to help those affected by flooding.