A taxi driver has hit out at Preston’s parking wardens for allowing late-night drivers to flood ranks across the city centre.
Michael Apicella, a black cab driver in the city, said the ranks on Friargate and Church Street are plagued by people parking up in the evenings when cabbies are trying to pick up revellers.
He said the problem had left drivers having to double park alongside parked cars causing an obstruction on the road and danger to people out in the evenings.
The driver said parking wardens refused to come out in the evenings when the problem is rife.
Mr Apicella said: “It is not just a case of taxi drivers not being able to make a living, there is a real threat to public safety here.
“We are having to park all over the place because there are cars parked on the rank when they should not be and we are causing a very real danger to other drivers and people who are out for a good time.
“Sooner or later someone is going to be very seriously hurt because of this problem.”
On-street parking is enforced by a private company contracted out by Lancashire County Council - NSL Services Ltd.
An operation was carried out earlier this month with NSL, Preston Council and police to target the problem on Church Street. 20 warnings were handed out and four tickets were issued.
A spokesman for Preston Council said they were looking to carry out similar operations in the future.
Paul Riley, parking services manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “We’ve stepped up enforcement to ensure people don’t park in taxi bays at peak times.
“We’re also carrying out more day time enforcement to ensure people are keeping to the rules in the restricted bays on Church Street.
“We’ll continue to work with our partners to tackle illegal parking in taxi bays.”