Fresh legal bid over market parking row

Kirkham market traders who are still being given parking tickets for parking their vehicles on the square during market day
Kirkham market traders who are still being given parking tickets for parking their vehicles on the square during market day
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ANOTHER legal row looks set to erupt as a parking fine threatens the future of an historic Fylde market.

John Sergeant, Lord of the Manor of Kirkham, is appealing to have a trader’s parking ticket, dished out in February, overturned.

Mr Sergeant holds an archaic charter, granted by Edward I in 1287, to hold weekly markets in Kirkham which he claims allows sellers to park in the town free of charge.

In 2008, he mounted a successful legal challenge against Fylde Council and had a fine given to a trader quashed.

Mr Sergeant says this was on the grounds the Royal Charter takes precedence over the highway authority.

He has vowed to take the latest fine to court in the same way saying the fines could spell the end for traders running the 724-year-old market.

He said: “If traders cannot park on the market, they will not trade and this valuable and historic market will cease.

“I will take this to court and if it loses I will take it to a higher court. The conditions set down in the Royal Charter are law and I will keep fighting to protect the market and the Kirkham traders to have these laws recognised.”

Mr Sergeant has written countless letters to Lancashire County Council, the highways authority in a bid to get the fines overturned.

In the past residents have complained parking by market sellers has created road chaos in the town centre.

Motorists warned vehicles were blocking visibility around Church Street, making it difficult for parents taking children to St Michael’s CE Primary School.

Tom Nuttall, superintendent of Kirkham market said traders feel “victimised” by the fines. He added: “We have parked on that site for at least 30 years without problems and it seems suddenly goal posts are being moved.

“We need constant access to our vehicles, not just for unloading but to be able to get stock easily, without this trading would be impossible.

“The market remains so popular with people, markets are continually closing because of supermarkets but we are still going strong.

“The fines make traders feel insecure about the future of the market and as though we are being slightly victimised.”

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said: “The matter has been referred to the council’s legal team. It would be inappropriate to respond until it has been resolved.”