TRAFFIC wardens swooped to stop car dealers clogging up parking bays and pavements after other traders complained.

Traders in London Road, Leigh, called for action claiming some dealers were putting cars for sale in parking areas meant for their customers.

Martin Terry, Southend councillor responsible for transport, said some dealerships were “taking the mickey” with their parking arrangements.

Yesterday, wardens were sent in to sort out the problem, after the Echo was contacted by concerned traders.

Mr Terry said: “There’s going to be some changes regarding enforcement because it’s a problem.

“What these car traders are doing is depriving other businesses of customers, by blocking car parking bays.

“I’ve personally seen cars on the pavements and blocking footways and they’re absolutely taking the mickey.”

Kat Perfect, manager of Sally Salon Services, said customers end up going to other shops when they can’t get parked.

She said: “It can be an issue sometimes – people tell us, if there are cars here and they can’t get parked, they will drive ten minutes all the way over to Eastwood to park at that store, rather than trying to find somewhere here.”

John Clarke, 59, a contractor who often works in the area, said he frequently has trouble parking for jobs on London Road and had even seen cars parked on pavements either side of a pelican crossing.

He said: “It’s absolutely appalling, but they get away with it.

“Often I travel on London Road and see cars with prices in the windscreen left on yellow lines or the pavement.

“At the weekend I counted nearly 30 cars on yellow lines, in bays and one on the pavement, and none of them got a ticket – it’s not a level playing field.”

Alan Knapper, manager of the House of Cars dealership, said he was aware some dealerships flouted traffic laws.

He said: “We know it goes on, from one end of London Road to the other, and some people do take the mickey, but we’ve never needed to because we have a site that holds 47 cars.

“We only keep two cars in the bays in front of our driveways because, if someone decides to go to the pub and leave their car there for two days, it stops people coming in and out and looking around.”