Drivers are finding it hard to make deliveries in central Blenheim because of "heavy-handed" traffic wardens, a courier driver says.
Courier Post driver Antoinette Keen said the new parking enforcement contractor, Armourguard, was putting unnecessary pressure on delivery drivers in zones where parking is limited to five or 10 minutes.
This time limit was often not long enough and wardens waited around for the set time and gave no leeway if drivers went a minute over, she said.
"I know they want to make an impression on the public, but I didn't realise our new wardens would be so heavy handed when it came to service vehicles doing their job," she said.
"It's a shame that the new wardens aren't so heavy handed on the public using the loading zones and only seem to be targeting service vehicles."
Sometimes, service vehicles needed longer than 10 minutes, especially when the stocks were changing for the season, when it could take 20 minutes to unload, Ms Keen said.
When she was parked outside Postie Plus, a warden chalked her tyre when she was standing next to it. Later that day, a warden outside Westpac bank stood and watched until she left.
"Why should there be extra worry put on the driver because a parking warden is hiding around a corner with a stop watch?"
She has not been given a ticket, but knows of other drivers who have. She wants the Marlborough District Council to increase or remove the 10-minute limit, but was worried shoppers would then use the areas for parking.
Council support services manager Dean Heiford said parking wardens were there to enforce the law, not interpret it. "I think the new parking contractors are probably following the letter of the law and enforcing it as it is written. Over time, this tends to relax."
Wardens didn't "stand there and wait" and they gave some discretion, Mr Heiford said.
Marlborough Roads manager Frank Porter said a warden would wait "a minimum of 20 minutes" before issuing a ticket, because a delivery or load should be made within that time.
"I cannot recall any infringement notices issued for parking over the time limit on a loading zone. Rather, it is for not being a goods vehicle parking on a goods-vehicle-only restricted loading zone," Mr Porter said.
Armourguard took over parking enforcement in June.
- The Marlborough Express