Be gone in 60 minutes, or pay

Clients who frequent the restaurants, the Department of Home Affairs, the banks, Mediclinic George and other businesses near the corner of York and Langenhoven Streets have to finish their business within an hour, or risk a hefty fine. Photos: Michelle Pienaar

GEORGE NEWS - Traffic officials have been very busy lately, fining motorists who exceed the 60 minute parking time allowed for in York Street.
 
Following a complaint by a restaurant owner who rents a business premises at the Prince Vincent building, the George Herald spoke to three other managers of businesses in the same building regarding the problems they experience.
 
They say many of the personnel and managers don't have alternative parking for their own vehicles, thus they have to make use of parking subject to time restrictions. Clients who frequent the restaurants, the Department of Home Affairs, the banks (Absa, Nedbank, FNB) on either side of York Street as well as Mediclinic, have to finish their business within an hour. This is often a tall order, especially if you have to visit Home Affairs or a bank just after pay day.
 
Although traffic officials have always been active in York Street, they seem more focused on enforcing the one hour parking restriction of late.
 
Since starting her job as manager of Gold Trader two years ago, Sunette Nathanson, has collected close to 20 parking tickets.
 
To avoid tickets, optometrist Rita Walls, closes shop and shifts her car every other hour. Deon Lubbe, owner of The Bench restaurant, recounts that three of his clients recently received parking tickets. Lubbe and one of his personnel got tickets on the very same day.
 
According to Charl Reeders, manager of Ponto restaurant, home affairs is the main fly in the ointment when it comes to filling the parking bays. "On a public holiday, when all the eateries are open, there are lots of space available for everyone," says Reeders.
 
"The problem is Home Affairs serves clients from all over the district and when they park here, they don't leave within an hour. I prefer the parking restrictions, because my clients don't stay longer than an hour over lunchtime. In the evenings when they do stay for longer, it isn't a problem anymore."
 
The caretaker of the Prince Vincent Building, Bryan Watson, says there are only a few parking places available behind the building, rented by specific businesses. "The contracts state whether a parking is included or not."
 
Feedback from the Traffic Department on these issues, and an inquiry on possible plans for an alternative parking meter system are being awaited.
 
 
The manager of Gold Trader, Sunette Nathanson, has collected close to 20 parking tickets over the past two years. Nathanson shows the most recent tickets issued by the George Traffic Department.  
 
 
The caretaker of the Prince Vincent Building, Bryan Watson, says only a few parking spaces are available behind the building. Some are used as storage space.  
 
ARTICLE & PHOTOS: MICHELLE PIENAAR, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST 
 
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