Ex-officer backs double parking

Goods vehicles double parking to unload or load should not be ticketed, says a retired police inspector.

Former Inspector Hugh Flower has spoken out after a Nelson Mail article about city businesses and delivery drivers who had experienced problems with parking wardens telling them they could not double park outside stores and being told to hurry up.

Flower, who has extensive experience in traffic policing and prosecutions, said while double parking generally was not allowed, there were exemptions for delivery vehicles under the Land Transport Road User Rules.

The rule provides for goods vehicles double parking to load or unload when there was no alternative access, or if in the circumstances it was unreasonable to use the alternative access, and due consideration was given to other road users.

"That has been the rules for goods vehicles for more than 45 years," he said.

"There is no need for parking warden to be standing over them while loading or unloading and trying to get them moving when what they are doing is allowed under the legislation. They should not be ticketed."

The only reason they should get a ticket was if they were in breach of the exceptions, such as double parking, unloading some goods then going next door for a coffee.

"It does not require the parking warden to menace them when what they are doing is legitimate," he said.

That then raised the question who was training the wardens who were apparently unaware of the legislation and the competence of the trainers, he said.

The Nelson City Council has contracted out its parking operations to Environmental Inspections Ltd (EIL).

Council communications manager Angela Ricker said the parking wardens were aware of the rule exemption.

"All EIL parking officers are aware of this exception and only take action if the vehicle is parked in such a way as to be unsafe or unreasonably interfere with other road users. In these cases, the first action taken is to speak to the driver."

EIL had only issued one infringement notice to a goods vehicle for the offence and in that case the driver was not carrying out any loading or unloading of goods. "However, in most cases a friendly word to the driver resolves the situation," she said.

Parking warden training was completed in-house under the guidance of senior staff, she said.

"No formal qualification is required, however the officers responsible for training have significant experience in this field," she said.

She said EIL was meeting all council expectations and carrying out the duties it was contracted to do in an efficient and professional manner.