A PHARMACY in Gwent has been blindsided after being told drivers delivering and picking up vital medication could be fined for parking outside their shop.

Mayberry Pharmacy, which has branches all over South Wales, is facing the potential cost of parking fines following an alleged change to regulations outside one of their shops.

Delivery drivers who work at the branch in Pontypool have been informed by traffic officers that they will be fined if they park on double yellow lines by the front door while they are unloading or loading medication - despite previously having been allowed to do so.

They are now being told they must park further away in a car park and transport the medication by hand to their vans, which the company has claimed could be unsafe.

Managing director Paul Mayberry has been left “really worried” by the sudden change in parking rules, which he says “came out of the blue”.

South Wales Argus: Managing Director of Mayberry Pharmacies Paul MayberryManaging Director of Mayberry Pharmacies Paul Mayberry (Image: Supplied)

“I feel deeply concerned for the vulnerable individuals in our community who rely on our services for their essential medication," he said. "I won’t let them down despite the council.

“I will have to do whatever it takes to keep these deliveries going which will mean dispensing in another branch at significant cost to me.

“Otherwise the thought of potentially having to limit or discontinue our free prescription delivery service to those who need it most is disheartening and distressing.”

Mr Mayberry has said he will now have to consider the “increased risk” to his delivery drivers with the new rules.

Mr Mayberry says the “sudden and unexpected” nature of the changes has left him “frustrated and powerless” in a situation that may mean he is no longer able to serve the Pontypool community in the way he has done for more than 30 years.

South Wales Argus: Outside Mayberry Pharmacy Pontypool branch with pharmacy manager Lucy WilliamsOutside Mayberry Pharmacy Pontypool branch with pharmacy manager Lucy Williams (Image: Supplied)

He continued: “I am hopeful that through dialogue and community support, we can work towards a resolution that safeguards the continuity of our vital services.

“The potential repercussions of these changes extend beyond inconvenience to the possibility of curtailing our services to the most vulnerable members of our community, including those who are unable to access alternative transportation options."

He also claims the regulations were put in place without any consultation with local businesses, which will place further pressure on businesses who are already struggling with the current financial situation.

Mr Mayberry is now urging Torfaen Council to reconsider the regulations and allow their delivery vehicles to park outside briefly.

Torfaen Council said the double yellow “kerb blips” have been on Crane Street since 2016, but admitted that they had become faded and barely visible, meaning that the pharmacy was allowed to use the space to deal with deliveries.

They said it had been explained to the pharmacy that, once the work to repaint the lines was complete, loading and unloading would be prohibited, and an alternative location found.

A spokesperson said: “Our offices used their discretion and allowed the pharmacy’s vehicle to load and unload any deliveries, but explained to the pharmacy this would only be the case until maintenance had been carried out.

“Recently, our officer witnessed that the relevant work had been undertaken and called into the pharmacy to explain that as the blips are now clearly visible.

“The pharmacy worker confirmed they understood and would relay the message to all staff."