Retailers must put pressure on their local authorities to enforce action on those abusing their parking spaces, according to Christie & Co’s head of retail, Steve Rodell. 

The news comes after a reported increase of independent retailers claiming residents and workers are leaving their cars in their designated spaces without using their shop. 

He told RN: “We are in a situation where local council resources are poor. Shopkeepers need to get in contact with their local authority by making a nuisance of themselves and writing letters. 

“The more they do this, the more councillors will start alerting their Highway Agency teams.”

Harj Gill, owner of The Windmill Select & Save in Rubery, Birmingham, has 19 parking spaces outside of his shop that are used by local residents. 

“We have to bring up the issue with residents and sometimes they are confrontational,” he said. “A car was dumped in one of the spaces and wasn’t removed for four weeks.”

Rodell recommends a short-term fix is for retailers to personalise their spaces. “You can paint markings on the spaces to alert people that they belong to you,” he said.

Gill explained: “We have been thinking about this recently, as we have seen other stores do it.”

However, Rajan Patel, owner of The Brent Post Office Local in Kent, complained about the lack of support from his local council in his effort to obtain parking spaces. 

“We were advised to get in touch with the Highway Agency, but it’s such a long process,” he said. “They don’t make it easy for you by giving you a point of contact, and, to be honest, I don’t have the time to write letters back and forth.”

Gill reinforced the benefits of committing to the process. “Our application took us seven years, and it wasn’t easy, but it is worth it,” he said. 

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