TRAFFIC wardens have been accused of being over eager after slapping tickets on a number of cars in the evening and at the weekend.

But the council says it had to take action in Wiveliscombe as vehicles are blocking the town centre and could result in "serious consequences" in an emergency.

It added that a bus had recently been delayed for 35 minutes as it was unable to get through due to cars parked at the side of the road.

A long-term resident said a warden had been spotted in West Street, West Road and The Square on a Sunday and at 7.40pm last Thursday.

The man, who asked not to be named, said: "I don't think that's ever happened before.

"Residents have been parking on double yellow lines in the town centre overnight and have been gone early in the morning for years.

"Now all of a sudden it's all changed without any warning and people aren't very happy about it.

"Everyone's lived quite happily for years and there haven't been any accidents overnight in all that time that I'm aware of.

"I accept people have been parking on double yellow lines, but there's a shortage of parking spaces in the town centre because they've built so many new homes.

"People don't want to have to walk ten minutes to get home after parking up and then another ten minutes in the morning to get their car."

He added: "If the council is changing the 'rules' after all these years, it's only fair they make people aware.

"But we weren't told anything and all of a sudden we've got traffic wardens descending on the town, almost as if they're trying to catch people out."

The Highway Code states that double yellow lines mean "no waiting at any time" unless there are signs that specifically indicate seasonal restrictions, which is not the case in Wiveliscombe.

A Somerset County Council spokesman said traffic wardens had been sent to the town in the evening "to deter drivers from parking on double yellow lines".

He added: "This follows a recent incident when the number 25 bus through Wiveliscombe was held up for 35 minutes by inconsiderately parked cars and the driver was forced to reverse back to The Square to turn around.

"We would urge drivers not to park on double yellow lines at any time – not only is it inconsiderate and obstructs traffic and public transport, it could also have far more serious consequences if it prevents the fire service from attending an incident."