Bar owner is fined nearly 100 times for parking outside his own boozer
Furious bar owner is fined nearly 100 times for parking outside his own boozer after council pedestrianised the road during Covid lockdown
- Stephen Reynolds was fined 96 times for a total of £3,300 for parking outside his own bar Slipping Jimmy’s on Newport High Street to unload stock
- He says he can’t get back from his supplier in Cardiff, which opens at 9am, in time to unload his barrels by 10am to meet the council’s restricted hours
A bar owner has been left furious after he was fined nearly 100 times for parking outside his own boozer to unload stock after the council pedestrianised the road during the Covid lockdown.
Newport City Council has fined Stephen Reynolds, who has owned Slipping Jimmy’s for 10 years, 96 times at £35 each, amounting to £3,300 – and he has never successfully appealed despite his best efforts.
The bar and grill is located on Newport High Street which has been pedestrianised and had restricted access for businesses to unload stock between 6am and 10am only since July 2020.
Mr Reynolds says because he cannot get back from his supplier in Cardiff, which open at 9am, in time to unload his barrels by 10am, he is fined by parking attendants if he is even a minute over.
He told WalesOnline he’s had at least three run-ins a month with the council since the street became pedestrianised.
Bar owner Stephen Reynolds (pictured) has been left furious after he was fined nearly 100 times for parking outside his own boozer Slipping Jimmy’s on Newport High Street to unload stock after the council pedestrianised the road during the Covid lockdown
Newport City Council has fined Mr Reynolds 96 times at £35 each, amounting to £3,300. The bar and grill (pictured) is located on Newport High Street which has been pedestrianised and had restricted access for businesses to unload stock between 6am and 10am only since July 2020
In a bid to avoid a fine and unload legally, Mr Reynolds began parking under the NCP car park at Queensway in the city centre yards away from his bar in the designated loading bay.
Despite there being no signs beside the loading bay warning of a time limit, Mr Reynolds explained he gets fined for parking in the bay, with attendants telling him is because he is taking too long to unload.
He said he had hoped that appeals would be successful, noting that he has no other viable options than the loading bay and that there are no obvious time limit warnings. But none of the fines he has received have been overturned.
Holding two tickets he received last week, Mr Reynolds said: ‘When I appeal this they’ll tell me: “Well you were there too long”. But there is nothing there at all that states that there is a time limit.
‘On Friday I walked up and they were at my car taking photos and writing a note and I said to them: “What are you doing? I’m unloading the car for my business.” They said: “You’ve been parked too long.” I said: “Are you taking the Mick? I’ve just pulled up.” They won’t listen.
‘I dread to count the tickets I’ve had since I’ve been here. I’m averaging three tickets a month which has been going on since it’s been pedestrianised.
‘I’m paying £35 a ticket. It’s got to the point where I’ve spoken to everyone I can speak to about it and all I get is: “It’s been pedestrianised for health and safety reasons and we can’t allow you access after 10am.”
‘There are no shops up here, there are not that many people up here… You’d have to go out of your way to hit a pedestrian.’
Mr Reynolds says his struggles are shared by other bar workers on the street and is an added pressure on business owners at an already difficult time.
The loading bay where he currently unloads and where he is often fined for ‘taking too long’ could be turned into a cycle lane as part of significant plans to transform Newport’s Old Green roundabout, which you read about here. He says if those plans go ahead it will leave his business in an impossible situation.
Mr Reynolds says because he cannot get back from his supplier in Cardiff, which open at 9am, in time to unload his barrels by 10am, he is fined by parking attendants if he is even a minute over (pictured is Newport High Street which is completely pedestrianised)
‘I’ve said to the council: ‘If you take the loading bay away then I really will have nowhere’,’ he continued. ‘They said there is a permanent loading bay at Bridge Street, but that is so far away from my bar I’d be unloading for half a day every day. These are barrels of beer and boxes of wine – not letters.
‘I’ve changed suppliers where I can because they can’t park. But I’m still being fined for the stock I have to pick up from Cardiff.
‘We’re getting bands cancel on us too because they can’t park to unload their gear and I’ve got no bands on a Friday or Saturday night. The council can say it’s not their problem but I was here before they brought in all of this and it’s seriously affecting businesses.
‘You get to a point where you think is it even worth it? By the time I’ve paid one fine I get another one.’
A spokesperson for Newport Council said: ‘Restrictions on vehicles accessing the pedestrianised High Street have been in place for a number of years.
‘More than two years ago, the hours of access were changed to 6am to 10am each day to improve safety for visitors, including those using the outside hospitality areas in High Street.
‘The suggestion that the wardens have been instructed not to book vehicles incorrectly using the loading bay in Queensway is categorically not true. Enforcement continues to take place.
‘A consultation is taking place on major travel improvements in the city centre but no decisions have been made. We would encourage people to have their say before the deadline on April 6 [on their website].
‘There is also another loading bay available in Bridge Street between the hours of 7am and 7pm which can be used by those making deliveries.’
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