Landlord’s car park plan is just the ticket

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WHEN it comes to stopping rogue parking outside his pub, one city landlord has just the ticket.

Stuart Blyth, who runs The Royal, on Moredunvale Road, has begun issuing his own parking fines after getting fed-up at finding visitors to the nearby ERI clogging up his land without so much as buying a packet of crisps.

He decided to call time on the practice after finding he could no longer get a space in his own 50 vehicle car park and delivery trucks were turning away with their barrels of beer.

Mr Blyth and his wife, Connie, now have their own book of tickets, and are issuing fines of £100 each through private company TPS Parking.

The 58-year-old said the family-run pub was now issuing two or three tickets a week after an initial crackdown appeared to have scared many of the worst offenders off.

He said: “It got ridiculous. One of the brewery deliveries couldn’t even get up to the door, so they turned away. People are going to the hospital, but they don’t want to pay so they’re leaving their car on our private property. Our regular customers come from work and they can’t get a space.”

Mr Blyth previously had attempted to transform his car park into a pay and display facility in 2002, but his plans were thrown out by the council.

He added: “We have a clear notice saying that this car park is for our punters. If they’re not, they’ll get a ticket. Myself and my wife are handing out the tickets, then a private company deals with it.

“We were going to make a pay as you go car park and we spent hundreds on getting drawings done, but the planning permission department said no, possibly because we would undercut the hospital car park’s price.”

He added: “A lot of the time the person we’ve issued the ticket to will come in and apologise, and we’ll accept that and write it off. But it’s getting to the stage where it’s going to close us down.”

Mrs Blyth said she had often arrived at work to find that she couldn’t find a parking space. She said: “When I issue the tickets I get dogs abuse from people, but it’s ridiculous. People are parking outside all the shops and residents are finding their private spaces full or blocked by people going to the hospital.”

Barrie Segal, a parking ticket specialist who runs parking fines advice website, said he questioned the enforceability of the fines the pub is charging, but pointed out that the venue could feasibly operate a reasonable charging system.

He said: “As such, anybody can do anything on their own property. I can understand the frustration this publican must be feeling, but the issuing of these tickets is a very sensitive matter and there are a number of legal points to overcome. I don’t think issuing a ticket of, say, £100, would be enforced, but if this pub is operating a private car park [with clear signage] and decided to charge £4 and somebody stayed for three hours, I think that seems a reasonable amount to pay.”