A businessman is warning shoppers in Sunderland city centre to be wary of where they park on Sundays.
Peter Darke says that visitors to the area need to be made more aware of restrictions in place when leaving their cars during shopping trips.
Because we don’t excactly have traffic jams in the city centre, some people think they can park wherever.Peter Darke, of Darke Cycles
Mr Darke, who has run his specialist bike business Darke Cycles for more than 20 years today told the Echo that visitors being more aware will help to boost trade.
Parking on double yellows is prohibited at all times even if there are no upright signs in place.
Parking at all council car parks in the city is free on Sundays, including Debenhams in The Bridges.
“The enforcement officers have been going around on Sundays recently to make people aware that they can be given a ticket for parking on any yellow lines even on a Sunday,” said Mr Darke, 54, who says until recently he thought he was OK to park on a double yellow on a Sunday.
“It needs to be more publicised in my opinion.
“Because we don’t exactly have traffic jams in the city centre, some people think they can park wherever.
“But if they do and then come back to find a ticket on their car, they’ll be more likely to avoid Sunderland and go somewhere like Dalton Park.”
Mr Darke added that he has the support for his views from fellow traders including Sarah McCluskey, of Relish sandwich shop, and Sanjeev Sanghera, of Popadoms restaurant – which is set to open soon.
By reminding shoppers of the law, he says that it will encourage more customers and firms to use Sunderland.
“I’m passionate about Sunderland because it’s where I’ve made my living for so long,” added Mr Darke, whose shop is in John Street.
“We’ve got a lot of specialist shops here and that’s what has held the city centre together in recent years.
“If it wasn’t for us, there would be nothing left.
“I remember when there was a Pizza Hut restaurant, but that had to be closed because it wasn’t making enough money.
“If a big franchise like that can’t make money, then you know there are problems.”
Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for city services, Councillor Michael Mordey, said: “The city council has been reminding city centre drivers that double yellow lines indicate a prohibition of waiting at any time, even if there are no upright signs, and this includes Sundays.”