Residents living near a Wetherspoons pub have taken drastic action after drinkers began parking in front of their homes and barring entry.
The situation worsened when staff at The Whiffler pub in Norwich, Norfolk, converted a 20-space car park into a 40-table seating area.
The change came as Covid restrictions meant pubs had to create an outdoor area for drinkers to allow them to comply with social distancing rules.
The bosses decided to make the change permanent when it became a big hit with the regulars.
However, locals have complained as visitors to the pub are now parking in the surrounding streets, blocking the way for residents.
The pub still has parking for around 30 vehicles to the side and rear of the pub but this fills up quickly due to the popularity of drinkers.
Publishing director Stephen Moore, 38, said: “Thanks to the Wetherspoon it’s absolute chaos here.
“People have blocked me a lot so I can’t get my car out. Even if they park across the street, it might mean I don’t have enough room to back up and make turns.
“It’s incredibly annoying. When I go out I can come back and not come back in my own driveway and there are cars parked all over the street.
“There used to be room for about 20 cars in front of the pub, now there’s only room for a few because of the tables. It’s a pain in the butt. They should go back to how it was.”
Lacey Douglass, a local councillor, sold her family’s house across the street from the pub where she grew up because she was tired of being locked up.
Ms Douglass, a Conservative on Broadland Council, said: “It was so unbearable that I had to leave a couple of years ago.
“After the first lockdown was relaxed, we couldn’t cope anymore. It was a shame as I had lived in the house since I was six. The pub was entirely to blame.
“But I have no personal vendetta. It’s a community problem that needs to be solved. Local residents send me pictures of bad parking almost every day.”
She and fellow councilor Simon Jones have now organized a residents’ meeting at a community center to try to come up with a plan to solve the problem.
Wetherspoons bosses invited residents to a meeting at the pub on Tuesday to try to placate them.
The pub recently posted three signs on a cordon at its perimeter, urging customers to “be considerate of pedestrians, neighbors and local businesses when parking in or around this area”.
They ask customers to use the parking spaces provided and to avoid blocking sidewalks and driveways to properties, or to park in a way that obscures their view.
A disabled local, who gave her name only as Ruth, said it was a “nightmare” living there now.
She said: “I get blocked a lot. People never leave a message or a number to call and you have to wait for them. I used to call the pub to complain but it never helped.”
Another local resident, who asked not to be identified, revealed that she had a habit of downloading fake speeding tickets from the internet, printing them out and sticking them on the windshields of poorly parked cars.
She said, “These aren’t real tickets, but I’ll fill them in with the vehicle’s license plate number.” It’s worth it if that makes people think for a moment they’re getting a fine, and then maybe think twice if they to park again in the same way.
“But the same vehicles keep coming back. There are two scaffolding trucks parked on the street almost every Friday.”
“I don’t want to make too much of a fuss because the people who run the pub are very nice.”
The Tube manager opposite the pub also said he had recently put up professional-looking signs threatening anyone who isn’t his customers with a £100 fine if they park in his spaces in front of his diner.
He said: “It got so bad that we had to do something. People left their cars in my rooms for two or three hours while they went to the pub, or sometimes even overnight.
“There were times when all my parking lots were full and my customers couldn’t pull over because they didn’t have a parking space. The signage improved things a bit, but it’s still an issue.
“I haven’t tried fining anyone yet, but I’m getting to the point where I might be able to use law enforcement to do it.”
A spokesman for Wetherspoon said: “We are aware of local concerns about parking near the pub.
“A neighborhood meeting has been arranged for August 22nd between representatives of the company, local councillors, the licensing officer and local residents to discuss the problem, including the extent to which it is being caused by customers using the pub and whether the addition of doubles yellow lines on the roads concerned could help.”