THIS week wasn't a good week for a Leigh car dealership which has been accused of parking for-sale vehicles on double yellow lines whilst covering number plates to prevent notices being issued.

Southend Council parking wardens arrived outside Essex Car Sales, in London Road, Leigh, on Wednesday morning.

Bosses say the operation was a show of strength after numerous complaints about vehicles and businesses blocking pavements along road were made.

Councillor Andrew Moring said: “Following numerous complaints from residents and businesses, a number of cars belonging to a car dealership were issued with penalty charge notices.

“The cars were encroaching on public footpaths and therefore left the officers with little choice.

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“These tickets in particular were issued as part of a planned operation between the council, a parking firm and Essex Police.

Accusations against firms include threatening behaviour, cars blocking public footpaths, cars taking up limited waiting bays and parking on double yellow lines whilst covering number plates to prevent notices being issued.

Mr Moring added: “We are pleased with the outcome of this excellent partnership work and we hope other businesses who do not consider the needs of other businesses and residents will take note.”

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However the firm claimed it was being victimised.

The owner of Essex Car Sales, who gave his name just as Darren, said: “I am being bullied and victimised. I’m not doing anyone any harm. If I was blocking the path or stopping people from getting through then I would get it but I am not.

"There should be one set of rules for all because there are lots of other car sites round here and they don’t get ‘done’, they just pick on me and keep doing it.

“I am always really polite to them, it’s just really unfair. I have only been here two-and-a-half years and I know the traffic wardens had a vendetta with the owners before me - it’s got nothing to do with me.

"I’ve pulled up on yellows quickly but don’t leave the cars there.”

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Southend Council provided a photo (pictured at the top of this story) of a car on double yellow lines from November 2018, with the number plate covered up with the price tag although the firm denied responsibility.