A couple who own three businesses in Lynn, employing more than 20 people, are considering pulling out due to ‘impossible’ traffic restrictions.
Louisa and Steve Tostevin say the introduction of a ‘no loading’ restriction close to their businesses in Purfleet Street mean they are struggling to operate.
Mr Tostevin said: “After 18 years here, we have been talking in terms of ‘should we just shut up shop in King’s Lynn?’
“We have businesses in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and London and King’s Lynn has become the hardest town to trade in. Westminster is supposed to be the worst place for parking restrictions but we don’t have a problem with our business there.”
The couple own Archers cafe, which is run by their son Charlie and his wife Junno, Envy hair design and The Tanning Studio.
Until November, delivery vehicles could stop in the pedestrianised area close to Boots for a short period but that has now been banned between 10am and 10pm.
Mrs Tostevin said: “They are making it impossible for us to trade.
“Who in their right mind stops a business being able to load and unload during working hours seven days a week?
“It is not like we are asking for something to make things more convenient, we just want to be able to run our business.”
The closest delivery vehicles can get to any of the businesses is King Street, which the couple say is impractical.
They had hoped they would be treated with leniency when it was obvious vehicles had only stopped in the area to unload to the businesses but they have been told there is a zero tolerance approach.
The couple said the relatives of disabled customers, who have previously been able to drop off and pick up at the door, have even been given tickets.
Norfolk County Council now oversees parking enforcement after responsibility passed to it from the police.
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “There had been some issues in enforcing the loading-only parking restrictions in the pedestrian zone following the changes in parking enforcement responsibilities.
“Now it is clear what is and isn’t permissible and the parking restrictions are the same throughout the pedestrianised area.
“We want the pedestrianised area to be attractive and safe for people to walk around with ease and without worrying about traffic between the hours of 10am to 10pm. Loading is possible before 10am and after 10pm.
“We’re aware of businesses’ concerns and highways officers have arranged a meeting with businesses and the borough council next week to discuss these further.
“The Civil Parking Enforcement Officers have to take action whenever they observe a contravention of parking restrictions.
“It is impossible for them to know all the circumstances and reasons why someone may have parked at a particular point, which is why everybody has the opportunity to appeal to the district or borough council that issued the notice.
“If they are not satisfied with their response, motorists can appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.”