Victory for traders in delivery 'ban' fight
HIGHWAYS officials have performed a U-turn just 24 hours after banning traders from unloading outside their own businesses.
Business owners in Clough Street, Hanley, were stunned to find yellow marks painted outside their premises on Tuesday which meant they could take deliveries only from the opposite side of the road.
But yesterday Stoke-on-Trent City Council is believed to have backed down and agreed to cover up the freshly painted marks.
Although nobody at the authority was able to confirm the U-turn, traders claim to have been in regular contact with the city council over the last two days.
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Firms say they were told the restrictions were being put in place to allow coaches heading to the city centre's two theatres to park along the stretch.
Officials wanted to prevent any double-parking, which could be caused by a delivery taking place at the same time a coach had been parked.
John Munro, who has run Cars By John Munro in Clough Street for seven years, said: "We had no idea they were going to do this. The first I knew was when I saw someone outside painting the marks."
Yellow squares were dotted along the right-hand stretch of the street, from the junction with Etruria Vale Road, meaning loading and unloading could happen only on the opposite side.
Mr Munro, aged 48, of Rode Heath, added: "I get about 12 vans a day coming down here delivering parts and if they are bringing an engine, I can't really expect them to walk it across the road."
There are currently no-waiting restrictions along the entire stretch to prevent city centre workers and visitors parking on the road.
It is believed council workers needed to use heating equipment to melt the snow and ice before they could paint the short-lived restrictions on the stretch.
Now those lines are expected to be painted black rather than removed.
Vivien Rowley, aged 56 of Hanley, who runs Mr Sleeps Beds Ltd with partner John Ward, said: "We can have five vans coming here today and some HGVs depending on business.
"We would have been expected to allow forklift trucks to be driven across the road.
"I don't understand why they did this, it seems like they just sit in meetings thinking of things to do. We were told there had been consultation but we never received a letter."
But Mark Webster, who runs Webster's Motorcycles, said: "I think the council has realised it made a mistake and they have reacted quickly to it."