A campaigning pensioner has won his battle to put the brakes on motorists who park illegally at a South Tyneside blackspot.
Ex-wrestler John Welsh, who has long petitioned for action at Hebburn’s main shopping centre – and council chiefs have confirmed they are going to take action.
Mr Welsh, 77, has welcomed the crackdown on drivers who flout the law by parking in disabled bays and other off-limits areas.
He has fought for years to prevent a tide of cars and vans also being left on pavements and yellow lines.
South Tyneside Council now says it will step up parking enforcement in a bid to tackle the problem around the Mountbatten Shopping Centre.
It will mount additional patrols on Station Road, following concerns about vehicles being parked in bus lanes and disabled bays.
Mr Welsh said: “I welcome this and hope it helps with this problem, but I can’t claim it as a triumph.
“People will see what the council is now saying it is going to do and they will want it to keep to that.
“I’ll keep an eye on what happens next myself.”
The council claims Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued to those who park illegally in bus lanes, bus stops, on double or single yellow lines, and in disabled bays.
Coun Richard Porthouse, Hebburn North ward member and Chair of the Hebburn Community Area Forum, said was pleased that extra patrols will be mounted
He said: “There have been issues raised about indiscriminate parking, in particular drivers who are reportedly abusing some of the disabled bays. This inconsiderate parking can restrict people’s ability to get around.
“We hope that this increased enforcement will help to act as a deterrent while reminding drivers of the restrictions in place.”
Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety, insisted the council was committed to making roads safer and to tackling congestion and parking problems.
She added: “We already carry out daily patrols of Hebburn town centre, issuing penalty charge notices to those who park illegally.
“However, following some concerns about regular abuse of the disabled bays, the council is increasing its presence of its civil enforcement officers in the area.”
“There is a small minority of drivers who flout the regulations and they risk receiving a fine.”
Enforcement teams will patrol car parks and streets and will look for vehicles parked in limited waiting areas, bus stops, delivery bays and those reserved for blue badge holders only.
Those in contravention of parking regulations could be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice of between £50 and £70 depending on the contravention.