Bristol City Council ‘targeted trader after he complained about new bus route’
A ST GEORGE trader claims he was targeted by the council after complaining about a new bus route that runs past his shop.
John Andreas, owner of AJ’s Domestic Appliances in Church Road, told the Evening Post he has received “piles” of parking fines worth thousands of pounds for unloading his goods in the bus lane.
But he claims when the showcase bus route, which runs from the city centre to Kingswood and Hanham, was being built, council officers told him he would be allowed to unload there, apart from in its hours of operation from 7.30am to 9.30am.
After receiving a letter from traffic enforcement officers a few days ago telling him they were monitoring him at the CCTV control centre, Mr Andreas says he has not been able to trade properly.
Every time he tries to load or unload outside his shop, the fixed traffic cameras pick it up, and he gets issued with another parking ticket.
He also claims a local police officer told him that police received a memo saying they must attend straight away if the council spots him unloading in the bus lane again.
“I am part of a row of shops and all the others are allowed to load and unload,” he said.
“I was told by council officers when the bus lane was being built that I would still be able to unload outside my shop.
“Without being able to unload, where am I supposed to put my stock?
“When the bus lane was being built the council moved a zebra crossing right outside my shop, which makes it impossible for me to unload anywhere other than in the bus lane.
“The council have also been on at me to move goods off the pavement outside my shop, but I’ve been doing it for the last 12 years.
“Where else am I supposed to put it? It’s making the shop overcrowded.
“If the situation cannot be resolved soon I’ll have to start laying my staff off.”
A Bristol City Council spokeswoman said: “There has been a problem with Mr Andreas parking his delivery van on the west side of a pedestrian crossing on double yellow lines and obscuring drivers' and pedestrians' views.
“He was advised that parking in this manner was dangerous and that staff at the Traffic Camera Monitoring Centre were under instructions to contact the police if they saw further dangerous parking at this site.
“Mr Andreas is aware that he is permitted to park vehicles to load/unload but only on the east side and clear of the crossing during the permitted hours of 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and weekends unrestricted.
“This case has been pursued for some time but Mr Andreas has failed to co-operate.
“He states he has no alternative but to continue placing out two rows of white goods, rather than one, and also obstructing the tactile paving to the back of the footway on the right hand side of the shop, because of lack of space within his building.
“Mr Andreas also states that there was not a problem with his placing two rows of items until the pedestrian crossing was re-located to outside his shop as part of the showcase bus route measures.
“Regardless of the proximity of the shop to the crossing, placing two rows of white goods on the relatively narrow footway of this very busy main road is definitely not acceptable.”