09:38AM, Friday 11 January 2013
A family-run tour guide firm says it is scrapping Windsor from its listed itinerary route in 2013 due to ongoing parking problems.
London-based Flying Purple Pig Tours says it will no longer visit the town because of difficulties experienced by guides running private minivan tours for tourists.
Director Keith Ceeney said the last straw was a 'dubious' £50 parking fine in October in Park Street, which has led him to declare 'enough is enough'.
He said his guide parked for the permitted hour on the meter, before driving off and returning to a nearby spot minutes later, only to be hit with a ticket - despite there not being a 'no return' notice on the sign.
The father-of-two, who does tours himself, said: "This is one of many tickets we have had over the years and it is the end of our town guides here - it is too difficult to do."
He said one hour is not enough time for groups as they need two hours - one to see Windsor Castle and another to visit souvenir shops and other sights.
The firm's founder said drivers do not use Windsor Coach Park because it is further away from town and more expensive. They can't fit into bays at most town centre car parks, while the car park in Eton is also too far away leading to clients complaining.
The firm runs tours for up to six people five to six days a week. The 43-year-old said groups have been spending about £200 a day in the town for 15 years.
He added if restrictions were changed so guides can park safely and longer enough in central Windsor - it would return to the listed itinerary.
Royal Borough parking manager Neil Walter said the parking machine in Park Street 'clearly' states 'no return', but what can be displayed on the street sign is limited by government rules.
Mr Walter said minivans can use the Alma Road coach park if they pay coach rates, while on-street parking bays are designed for cars - not commercial vehicles or minivans.
He added: "There is not enough parking at peak times and we would like to have more. But a vast part of the land is in private ownership.
"We try to utilise every bit of space we can."
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.